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Monday, August 14, 2006

Sweden to host donors' conference for Lebanon

Sweden on Monday invited 60 countries and aid agencies to a donors' conference aimed at helping Lebanon rebuild homes, roads and lives shattered by weeks of fighting between Israel and Hizbullah guerillas.

Big donor nations such as the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Norway and Japan as well as the Gulf States were among those invited to the Aug. 31 conference in Stockholm, Swedish aid minister Carin Jamtin said.

She said Israel was not on the guest list for the meeting, which Sweden would host with help from the United Nations and the Lebanese government.

"The countries invited are those who are traditional donors at this type of conference," Jamtin told The Associated Press by telephone. "This will not be a political meeting, it's about urgent reconstruction."

Jamtin said that included rebuilding ports, bridges and roads wrecked by Israeli bombs to help thousands of people who fled the monthlong fighting return to their homes.

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