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November 19, 2002

Bush pledges to help Lebanon lower its debt

Anyone know why? Payoff for Syria vote on UN Security Council Resolution 1441?
US President George W. Bush told Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri during a hastily arranged White House meeting Monday that the US would dispatch Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to a Paris conference Saturday, where Lebanon hopes to win up to $5 billion in low-interest loans from the international community to help service its $29 billion in crippling debt. . . .
Sources briefed on the 15-minute meeting said Bush and Hariri spoke generally about the Middle East situation, but that Bush did not ask Hariri to try to rein in Hizbullah or to deploy troops on Lebanon's border with Israel, something the US has urged since Israel withdrew its troops from south Lebanon in May 2000.