French Ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Foucher speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Friday, March 23, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The CEDRE conference brought together 48 countries and institutions and drew far more in pledges for grants and soft loans toward Lebanon's Capital Investment Plan than anticipated. France's hosting of the conference and significant pledge of 550 million euros ($640 million) were among the reminders of France's close links with Lebanon over the past year, including visits by President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri to France. Foucher did not express concern that pledges will not be fulfilled on either end, saying that before and after elections everyone seemed on board with reforms.Foucher is not the only ambassador expressing hopes for the quick resolution of the Cabinet jockeying. Hariri met with representatives of the International Support Group for Lebanon earlier this week where government formation was discussed, according to a statement from the office of the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon. That does not necessarily mean Lebanon is feeling pressure from the international community. A local daily wrote earlier this week that there had been threats from the international community to not commit to pledges over the lack of a much-touted speedy government formation.
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