Chirac pledges to loan 500 million euros to Lebanon

24th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Wednesday pledged to loan 500 million euros (650 million dollars) to Lebanon during talks in Paris with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, the presidency said.

PARIS, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Wednesday pledged to loan 500 million euros (650 million dollars) to Lebanon during talks in Paris with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, the presidency said.

"France will bring Lebanon its support in the form of a 500-million-euro loan, extended on highly preferential terms," a spokesman said following their meeting.

Some 37 donor countries and a dozen international institutions gather in Paris Thursday for an aid conference that aims to secure billions of dollars in long-term financing for Lebanese reconstruction.

Earlier Wednesday the European Commission said it would pledge 400 million euros at the conference, while Washington has promised to make a "substantial long-term financial contribution".

Still reeling from the economic impact of the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah last summer, Lebanon's Western-backed leaders have described the meet as a one-off chance for their country to right its ailing economy, burdened by 41 billion dollars in debt.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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