Britain Offers Lebanon Aid to Boost Army Performance, Confront Refugee Crisisإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher announced on Tuesday that his country will provide Lebanon with a financial assistance to fortify its army's capabilities and to help it confront the Syrian refugees crisis.
Fletcher said after a meeting with President Michel Suleiman at the Baabda Palace that his country will supply Lebanon with $20 million to beef up its army's abilities and with $75 million to support the state with the crisis of the Syrian refugees.
The ambassador hailed Suleiman's efforts to maintain stability in the country, stressing that Britain will carry out the necessary international contacts to neutralize Lebanon from the conflict in the region.
The two officials also discussed the bilateral ties between the two countries.
More than 600,000 Syrians have fled their country to Lebanon, according to the United Nations, escaping a conflict now in its third year that has killed more than 100,00 people.
The conflict that erupted in Syria in March 2011 has spilled over the border into Lebanon where supporters and opponents of the Damascus regime have clashed frequently.
Last week, Lebanon's ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam vowed that Lebanon will keep its borders open to refugees from Syria but said the government may have to consider opening camps.
Salam, however, said that Beirut "needs concrete international help to cope with this growing problem".
A Security Council statement proposed by France called for "strong, coordinated international support for Lebanon to help it continue to withstand the multiple current challenges to its security and stability."
The Security Council statement said there should be international help for the Lebanese Armed Forces to help police the border and made a new appeal for all sides in Lebanon to stay out of the Syria conflict.
But the council said Lebanon needs "assistance on an unprecedented scale" to confront its refugee crisis.
A special fund set up by the United Nations has received only a fraction of the amount appealed for.