France pushes ahead with talks to rebuild Lebanon

France pressed ahead Friday with plans for an international donor conference next month on rebuilding Lebanon despite political turmoil in the country. "More than ever, Lebanon needs our help," President Jacques Chirac said at an EU summit in Brussels. Chirac said the conference would be held January 25 in Paris. Chirac noted Arab League mediators' success this week in getting the Lebanese government and opposition to agree on a national unity government. "All the initiatives that can bring together the Lebanese and can contribute to an end to the crisis are heading in the right direction," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.