EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini attends the Arab League summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on March 29, 2017. / AFP / KHALIL MAZRAAWI
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The European Union and the U.N. host a two-day conference starting Tuesday on Syria's future, with Russian-backed President Bashar Assad as firmly in place as ever despite efforts to oust him.EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has billed the gathering in Brussels as a follow-up to a donors' conference last year in London, which raised about $11 billion (10 billion euros) for humanitarian aid programs in the devastated country.The EU expects U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to attend along with Staffan de Mistura, his special envoy who is mediating the Syria peace talks.The EU estimates that about 13.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance inside the country, while another five million have fled, most to Turkey and other neighboring countries.The U.N. says 3.4 billion euros is needed for internal humanitarian aid this year, and 4.7 billion euros is required for the refugees.
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