Paris to Host in March Meeting for International Support Group for Lebanon

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The International Support Group for Lebanon is expected to meet in March in Paris at the invitation of France for the establishment of two funds the first to support Lebanon's economy and the second to aid the Syrian refugees in the country.

Sources told An Nahar newspaper that the meeting will seek to set a plan to grant Lebanon the funds to offer it financial support amid the acute crisis it's suffering from due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Sources said that the payments will be supervised by international observers.

However, the funds dedicated to aid the Syrian refugees in Lebanon will be supervised by the Lebanese state according to the humanitarian needs of the refugees.

The newspaper reported that the lingering cabinet crisis is delaying the matter as western officials argues that any funds should be granted to a legal and constitutional government and not a caretaking one.

The daily said that the international support group proposed the establishment of the two funds to prevent any delay in dedicating the grants to Lebanon, adding that the international conference in Rome that is set to tackle the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed force, will be considered a further means to aid Lebanon.

The support group was inaugurated in New York in September 2013,on the sidelines of the 68th session of the General Assembly. It undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and state institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country where it was most affected by the Syrian crisis, including in respect of strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces, assistance to refugees, and structural and financial support to the government.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Foreign Minister Emma Bonino had confirmed during separate short visits to Lebanon that the Rome conference aims at fortifying the capabilities of LAF and easing the Syrian refugees crisis.

The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon had surged to around 900,000 according to the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) as Lebanon has been facing difficulties in coping with their burden.

Meanwhile, President Michel Suleiman traveled to Tunisia on Friday on a one-day official visit to congratulate its leaders on the adoption of a new constitution.

Suleiman is expected to tackle with French President Francois Hollande a Saudi Arabia's grant to the Lebanese army.

The president revealed in late December that Saudi Arabia has decided to donate three billion dollars with the aim of purchasing French weapons for the Lebanese army as soon as possible.

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