Kuwait has pledged to fund most of a $500-million- project on the Litani river in south Lebanon, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri said Sunday at the end of a visit to the oil-rich emirate.
"The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), based in the emirate, will make a very substantial contribution" to finance the project, Hariri said.
"The Kuwaiti contribution will be close to covering the full amount. Kuwait has agreed to finance other projects," he told a press conference, without naming them.
The Litani river project aims to provide irrigation and power to the whole of southern Lebanon, most of which was under Israeli occupation for two decades until May 2000.
Feasibility studies have been completed and work on the project could begin as early as June.
Hariri arrived in the emirate on Saturday and met the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Saad Abdullah al-Sabah.
The two countries signed economic agreements on avoiding double taxation, on investment promotion and road transport during the visit, Hariri said. The accords aim to attract Kuwaiti investors in Lebanon by offering guarantees and protection.
Hariri said Kuwait had also pledged to help in mines-clearing operations in south Lebanon.
Since the end of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, Kuwait has provided Beirut with a total of $415 million in aid, of which $127 million has been in the form of grants.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )