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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Over $4Bln Raised for Lebanon in Paris

PARIS -- Promises of aid topped $4 billion at a donors' conference Thursday after Lebanon appealed for funds to help it recover from the war between Israel and Hezbollah.

A Saudi Arabian pledge of $1.1 billion, on top of grants and loans from France, the European Union, the United States, the Arab Monetary Fund and World Bank, brought the total to around $4.6 billion.

French President Jacques Chirac opened the one-day donors' conference saying Lebanon needed generous support to overcome economic woes after the "appalling clashes" in 2006.

The meeting comes two days after some of the worst street violence Lebanon has seen in years, with three people killed and more than 100 injured during a general strike called by the Hezbollah-led opposition.

The militant Shiite group has accused Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of being in the pocket of the West and Lebanon's pro-opposition al-Akhbar daily said Thursday that the Paris conference was designed to help the government, not the country.

French diplomats said they were worried some countries might hold back from offering aid because of the political turmoil.

"[Lebanon] is a country that is obstinately seeking rebirth and more than ever it needs the unanimous support of the international community," Chirac told the conference.

High-ranking representatives from more than 40 countries and organizations attended the meeting, including Chirac, Siniora, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

A similar conference in Paris in 2002 raised $4.2 billion for Lebanon.