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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:30, February 04, 2007
Lebanese official hails international donors' support
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Lebanon's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh hailed Saturday the outcome of a recently-held donor conference in Paris, saying it has witnessed international willingness to make Lebanon an independent and democratic state.

In an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio, Salameh described the conference, or Paris III, as a great success for Lebanon.

The outcome of the conference showed international support for the financial reform paper presented by Lebanon, he told the radio.

The Paris III conference was held on Jan 25, during which Arab and international donors have promised to grant Lebanon 7.63 billion U.S. dollars to help rebuild and restructure its economy in the wake of the Israeli devastation last summer.

Much of the aid is in form of grants, soft loans and direct support to the Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Seniora who has proposed a five-year reform plan that would see a hike in taxes and privatization.

Salameh affirmed the financial stability of Lebanon, saying his bank was able to preserve value of the Lebanese currency supported by sound banking sector that had expanded beyond the country's borders.

Last month, Lebanon's General Federation of Labor Union (GFLU) and the opposition supporters held a series of protests, including sit-ins, rallies and demonstrations, against the government's economic reform plan presented to the Paris conference to seek donors' financial support.

The protests were coincided with the streets activities by the Hezbollah-led opposition, which had been camping outside Seniora's office in downtown Beirut since Dec. 1, demanding the formation of a national unity cabinet that would give the opposition a veto- wielding power.

Source: Xinhua

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