UAE Supports Lebanon’s Demining with $50m
The UAE on Monday donated $50 million to support the Lebanese demining campaign.
The announcement came at a deminig workshop organized by the Lebanese government and the United Nations, and funded by the Italian government.
Italy’s deputy foreign minister was quoted by the Daily Star as saying that “Rome decided to support the project, not only because of its importance for Lebanon, but also to stress Italy’s commitment to regional peace."
For his part, Lebanon’s Defense Minister Khalil Hrawi said the 15,000 mine fields left behind by Israel in the South and Western Bekaa were “a new form of occupation.”
“This...is preventing both the Lebanese government and potential investors from proceeding with development projects in the liberated areas,” he stressed.
According to the daily, Emirati Ambassador Mohammed Omran said that his country’s initiative was based “on the belief in peace and its positive effects and consequences on the progress of humankind.”
Omran also said that a specialized mine-clearing team from the UAE’s armed forces was standing by to start working in the three-year project, which is entitled Expand Economic Opportunities for Survivors of Land Mines.
“There has never been anything like this,” said Staffan de Mistura, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s personal representative in the south. “Because of the UAE, Lebanon will be able to solve, in less than four years, what other countries...would spend decades solving.”
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Lebanon David Satterfield announced that the United States Agency for International Development would be initiating a $2 million project in Jezzine – Albawaba.com