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French President Francois Hollande told Prime Minister Saad Hariri Monday that Lebanon can count on French support to help it overcome the heavy burdens of hosting more than 1 million Syrian refugees and face threats of terrorism.Hariri met Hollande in Paris on the first leg of a three-nation European tour aimed at seeking financial aid from the international community to help Lebanon cope with the presence of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, based on government estimates, that places significant strain on the country's battered economy and weak infrastructure. Hariri's talks with Hollande focused on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region and increasing international aid to Lebanon to help it bear current burdens, a statement released by Hariri's media office said.Hollande said he discussed with Hariri the "challenges" facing Lebanon over the presence of 1.5 million displaced Syrians.Earlier Monday, Hariri held talks with his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis, developments in Lebanon and the region and ways to expand bilateral relations between Lebanon and France.Hariri reiterated his call on the international community to invest in Lebanon's infrastructure to help it deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.Ahead of the Brussels meet, Hariri has called on the international community to invest $10 to $12 billion over seven years in Lebanon's infrastructure.
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