“It’s very important to show that Lebanese democracy continues to exist,” Shorter said. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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British Ambassador-designate Hugo Shorter reiterated his country's support for Lebanon as he detailed massive new development programs put forward at the Syrian Donors' Conference in London, and denied the assistance was driven by a desire to keep refugees from going to Europe.Shorter, appointed last September, noted that the U.K. is the largest bilateral donor of aid for the crisis after the U.S., and that the goal of all parties was to see the eventual return of Syrians to their home country. The U.K. pledged a further $1.8 billion in assistance to the region at the London conference, held earlier this month. With the crisis now in its fifth year, the London conference saw shift from a largely humanitarian response toward one that is more oriented around development. The shift comes in line with requests by the Lebanese government detailed in the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan and other initiatives. Shorter said Lebanon could stand to benefit from millions of dollars in aid for municipal development projects organized under its framework. Shorter said that any solution to Lebanon's presidential crisis was up to the Lebanese, but reiterated that there too, Britain supports a democratic resolution.
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