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EU pledges €1B in aid for Lebanon

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday announced a €1 billion financial aid package for Lebanon, in part to help stem the flow of refugees to Europe.

“We discussed how we can strengthen our political and economic relations and support the security and stability of Lebanon,” von der Leyen said during a visit to Beirut. “To underline our support, I can announce a financial package of €1 billion for Lebanon that would be available from this year until 2027.”

The announcement follows a sharp rise in the number of Syrian migrants arriving in Cyprus, which is an EU member country, prompting the Cypriot president, Nikos Christodoulides, to ask for the bloc’s help.  

“To help you in managing migration we are committed to maintaining legal pathways open to Europe and resettle refugees from Lebanon to the European Union. At the same time, we count on your good cooperation to prevent illegal migration and to combat migrant smuggling,” von der Leyen said in a press statement along with Christodoulidis and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

More than 2,000 people arrived in Cyprus by sea during the first three months of 2024, compared to just 78 in the same period last year, according to Cypriot government data.

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