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Lebanon conference set for Stockholm

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16:26 CEST+02:00
Sweden will host an international aid conference for Lebanon on August 31 with representatives of 60 governments and organisations invited, the Swedish foreign ministry announced on Monday.

The conference in Stockholm will focus on humanitarian assistance and immediate reconstruction of the war-torn country, and will be organised in cooperation with the Lebanese government and the United Nations, the ministry said.

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson last week informed his Lebanese counterpart Fuad Siniora of the offer to hold the conference, but said it had to wait until a UN ceasefire resolution was in place.

Security Council Resolution 1701 on a cessation of hostilities was adopted unanimously in New York on Friday. It came into effect on Monday.

"We are assuming that the ceasefire will be respected so that the conference can be held on August 31, according to plan. The international community must now lend its support to Lebanon's recovery and help the hard-hit people of Lebanon," Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson said.

Aid Minister Carin Jämtin added: "We hope that the conference will help contribute to quick and coordinated international efforts in support of the Lebanese people.

"Lebanon needs all the help it can get in the difficult transition period that awaits the country."

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