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Suleiman: Conference must evaluate progress

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.

BEIRUT - President Michel Suleiman said the upcoming International Support Group for Lebanon conference must evaluate the success of proposals from their last meeting, and build on them in Paris.

 

“The purpose of the Paris meeting is to evaluate the results achieved [by] the group in New York last autumn, and to [evaluate] new proposals that can make the conference a success,” Suleiman said Tuesday while leading a meeting of member state ambassadors.

 

He also said it was important that the conference make the “necessary decisions to support Lebanon politically, economically, and militarily, as well as [in connection] with the [Syrian] refugees.”

 

Suleiman went on to ask member states to contribute to the group, and highlighted the effect of recent security threats as an added reason to donate.

 

“[I call on friends of Lebanon] to contribute to the [group’s] treasury, to which Norway [has made the first contribution.]”

 

“This support is important in many fields, especially after the increase in terrorist attacks in Lebanon.”

 

The group was set up last year to help the country deal with the implications of the brutal civil war in Syria, which began in March 2011.

 

It is intended to provide financial, political, and security support to the small nation.

 

Lebanon is hosting more than 930,000 registered Syrian refugees, although the real number is thought to be much higher, straining the limited resources of the nation of just four million residents.

 

The conflict has inflamed sectarian tensions, as the powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah has sent fighters to bolster Syria's regime against a Sunni-led uprising, which many Lebanese Sunnis support.

 

A string of car and suicide bomb attacks have targeted Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon in recent months, killing dozens of civilians.

 

Syria maintained a military presence in Lebanon for nearly 30 years, after intervening during the country's 1975-1990 civil war. Their troops withdrew in 2005 after protests following the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.

The purpose of the Paris meeting is to evaluate the results achieved from conclusions [reached by] the group in New York last autumn, and to [evaluate] new proposals that can make the conference a success.

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    I think the conference should also evaluate how much of the $support$ was pilfered by corrupt Lebanese politicians and bureaucrats as it made its way... The countries that are providing the support are the same ones that issue annual ratings of the most corrupt nations on earth, and they always find Lebanon among the top contenders for the title. I am surprised how much they trust the fox to guard the hen house.

    February 25, 2014