Bush sending presidential delegation to Lebanon

September 23, 2006 20:21


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President George W. Bush announced Saturday that he is sending a delegation to Lebanon to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and discuss ways to help rebuild his nation left in ruins after this summer's 34 days of fighting between Israel and Hizbullah. Dina Habib Powell, an Egyptian-born former White House official who is now assistant secretary of state for promoting educational and cultural exchange, will lead the five-member delegation. The other four delegation members are: Jeffrey Feltman, US ambassador to Lebanon; John Chambers, president and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems; Yousif Ghafari, chairman of GHAFARI Inc.; and Ray Irani, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Occidental Petroleum Corp. In a statement, the White House also announced that Chambers, Ghafari and Irani along with Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel Corp., are launching a nationwide effort to encourage private donations for reconstruction needed as a result of the conflict. In coming days, the group will ask Americans to donate money to a fund set up to help the Lebanese people, the White House said.

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