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Devastation in Beirut
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AP
Jose Manuel Barroso
Photo: AP
EU pledges 10m euros to help Lebanese
European Commission president says money would be dedicated to those in most urgent need of help ‘so that we can express our solidarity to civilians that are suffering for this terrible conflict’

The European Union today pledged 10 million euros to help civilian victims of the violence in Lebanon.

 

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the money would be dedicated to those in most urgent need of help "so that we can express our solidarity to the civilians that are suffering for this terrible conflict".

 

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of Finland, which holds the EU presidency, urged Israeli troops and Hizbullah guerillas to stop the violence.

 

'Violence must stop'

 

"The EU stands ready to help. A strong international presence in southern Lebanon, approved by the (UN) Security Council, may be needed," said Vanhanen, speaking on behalf of the EU.

 

"However, all parties to the conflict must first commit to a cease-fire.

"They are not yet listening enough," he added.

 

"Violence must stop, rocket attacks must stop. Abducted soldiers must be released," Vanhanen said.

"Israel has a right to defend itself but its reaction should be appropriate."

 

Barroso met with Vanhanen in Pori, on Finland's west coast. 

 

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