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EU Announces €1bn Refugee Deal With Lebanon

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The European Commission has promised one billion euros to Lebanon financial aid (1.07 billion U.S. dollars) in order to stop the flow into the European Union of refugees from Syria.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the promised in Beirut on Thursday following talks with acting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.
“We are here first and foremost to say that the European Union strongly supports Lebanon and its people and we want to reinforce our longstanding cooperation.
“To underline our support, I can announce a financial package of one billion euros for Lebanon that would be available from this year until 2027.
“We want to contribute to Lebanon’s socio-economic stability, first by strengthening basic services,” she said, listing investments in education, social protection, and health.
“We will accompany you as you take forward economic, financial and banking reforms,” von der Leyen said.
She added that security and stability are also key for these investments.
“We will support the Lebanese armed forces and the general and the internal security forces.
“This will be mainly focused on providing equipment and training, and the necessary infrastructure for border management.”
The EU side is counting on good cooperation in preventing illegal migration and combating people smuggling, von der Leyen added.
In order to support Lebanon in managing migration, the EU is committed to keeping legal routes to Europe open and resettling refugees from Lebanon to the EU.
According to Christodoulides, Syrians from Lebanon, which is around 160 kilometres from Cyprus, have been arriving almost daily by boat in the EU island republic in recent months.
Around 4,000 migrants have already been counted since the beginning of the year, compared to just 78 in the first quarter of the previous year.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=95459

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