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The EU gives almost NOK 12 billion to Lebanon

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Lebanon’s Acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati (centre) met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (right) and Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides on Thursday. Photo: Hassan Ammar / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 02.05.2024 11:53:55

Policy: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the billion-dollar package during a visit to Lebanon on Thursday together with Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides.

– We want to contribute to socio-economic stability in Lebanon, she said.

1 billion euros corresponds to just over NOK 11.8 billion at today’s exchange rate.

– Security and stability are also a key for these investments. We will support the armed forces of Lebanon and internal security forces. This will primarily be about providing equipment and training and the necessary infrastructure for border control, von der Leyen continued.

The EU hopes that good cooperation will prevent illegal migration and human trafficking. At the same time, legal routes from Lebanon must be kept open, as well as opportunities for the resettlement of refugees in the EU.

Christodoulides has previously called on the EU to work with the Lebanese authorities to stop the boats with Syrian refugees going to Cyprus.

During the visit, the two EU leaders will meet Lebanon’s acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati as well as other government officials. Later, they are expected to meet the president of the National Assembly, Nabih Berri, a close Hezbollah ally.

Lebanon is in political and economic crisis, and there are at least 800,000 Syrian refugees living in the country, 90 percent of whom live in poverty. The Lebanese themselves believe it is about 1.5-2 million.

The funds from the EU will apply until 2027.

(© NTB)

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