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Country profile of Lebanon

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Country Name: Lebanese Republic / al-Jumhurriyya al-lubnaniyya

Location: eastern Mediterranean coast; neighboring countries: Syria (north, east), Israel (south)

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean, snowfall in the mountains (up to 3,000 meters high) in winter time

Area: 10,452 sq. km

Capital: Beirut (approx. 1.5 million inhabitants)

Population: approx. 6 million (as of 2016, according to World Bank), among them almost 1 million registered Syrian refugees (as of 31/12/2017, according to UNHCR) and 174,000 Palestinian refugees (as of 21/12/2017, according to the Lebanese Statistic Authority)

Major Languages: Arabic; French and English are widely spoken

Religions: 18 recognized religious communities: Muslims (54%; among them Shia 27% and Sunni 27%), Christians (40.5%; among them Maronite-Catholics 21%, Greek-Orthodox 8%, Greek-Catholics 5% and other groups 6.5%), Druse (5.6%), Jews (<0,1%).

The figures given for the denominational distribution are just estimations according to the CIA World Factbook, as there is no official data since 1932.

Currency: Lebanese Pound (LBP), pegged to the US dollar since 1994; 1 USD = 1.507 LBP, 1 EUR = ca. 1.876 LBP

Form of Government: parliamentary democracy

Head of State (Maronite-Catholic): Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement), since 31/10/2016

Head of Government (Sunni): Prime Minister Saad Hariri (Future Movement), since 18/12/2016

Speaker of Parliament (Shia): Nabih Berri (Amal), since 20/10/1992

Foreign Minister: Gebran Bassil (Free Patriotic Movement)

Parliament: One-chamber parliament with 128 seats (denominational proportion); last elections on 07/06/2009, next elections (after two mandate extensions in 2013 and 2014) supposed to be held in May 2018

Almost all the major political forces in Lebanon participate in the government of national unity under Saad Hariri. Christians and Muslims are each represented by 15 ministers.

Membership of International Organizations: Arab League (founding member), Organization for Islamic Cooperation (founding member), United Nations (founding member) with specialized agencies

GDP 2016 (nominal): 49.6 billion USD (ca. 39.9 billion EUR)

GDP 2016 (per capita): 8,267 USD (ca. 6,642 EUR)

Life expectancy: women: 80.9 years; men: 77.1 years

Sources: German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Bank, UN, CIA World Factbook

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