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• Lebanon is perhaps the most diverse country in the Middle East and it has a history of instability and civil war.

• The bomb that assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri still reverberates around the country

• The country’s politics are complicated and prone to deadlock between the two main factions, pro-Western and pro-Syrian

• The present Prime Minister has only recently been able to form a government, many months after assuming his post

• There has been an upsurge of sectarian violence, as the Syria conflict threatens to spread into Lebanon

• Around a fifth of Lebanese residents are refugees from the Syrian conflict — an enormous burden

• The UK has given the Lebanese armed forces some aid to help with controlling the Syrian border

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