Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/26 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/26 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

Paris meeting pledges aid for Lebanon as Syria refugees flow in

media Lebanese President Michel Sleiman (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry after the International Support Group for Lebanon meeting at the Elysee Palace reuters/Kevin Lamarque

A summit in Paris has promised to help Lebanon with money and military equipment as the conflict in Syria drives more than a million refugees over the border. The influx is an "existential" threat to the country's unity, President Michel Sleiman told a contact group of foreign ministers from 10 countries on Wednesday.

More than a million refugees have fled from wartorn Syria to Lebanon, whose population is four million, since the conflict began three years ago and continue arriving at a rate of 50,000 per month.

France said it would assist Lebanon in any way it needs.

President François Hollande said the international community has three priorities for Lebanon:

"First, the funds sent to help refugees must be complemented and increased, to relieve Lebanon's burdens as much as possible," he declared. "The second priority is to support the Lebanese economy - through the World Bank, infrastructure projects will be financed and the country's public funds will be safeguarded. The third priority is to ensure the security of Lebanon and to allow the Lebanese army to have the necssary equipment. France is contributing in this area, working along with Saudi Arabia."

As well as promising financial aid, the meeting's final statement called for the authors of "repeated terrorist attacks" should be brought to justice.

Donors at a conference in Kuwait in January pledged 1.7 billion euros in aid to the refugees and France has already committed 10.4 million euros in 2014 and is to unblock a further one million, sources told the AFP news agency.

France, Norway and Finland have made the first contributions to the World Bank fund for the Lebanese economy.

Saudi Arabia has promised over two million euros to the Lebanese army and France has delivered heat-seeking anti-tank missiles, according to sources.

Several projects are conditional on normal political life returning to Lebanon and the conference said it was "crucial" that the presidential election, due at the end of May, and parliamentary elections take place as planned.

Media coverage of the conference was overshadowed by meetings on its sidelines - notably between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov - related to the crisis in Ukraine.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.