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At least 110 countries to attend first-ever World Humanitarian Summit

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 — About 110 countries have confirmed their attendance at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit on May 23-24 in Istanbul, Turkey, said the summit's spokesperson.

Following discussions with respective member states, Herve Verhoosel, the summit's spokesperson, was able to confirm officially the participation of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, whose country holds the six-month presidency of the European Union.

In addition, Shiekh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, Amir of of Kuwait, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, and Tammam Salam, Prime Minister of Lebanon and Acting President of Lebanon have also confirmed their participation, said the spokesperson in an email to UN correspondents.

In total, 50 heads of state or government have confirmed participation at the summit, said Verhoosel.

On May 22, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Under Secretary-General Stephen O' Brien will give a briefing to the press in Istanbul to discuss all relevant information regarding the summit, including the agenda, priorities and logistics, said Verhoosel.

Furthermore, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will give the closing press conference in Istanbul on May 24.

The goal of the Istanbul summit is to revamp, re-inspire and reinvigorate how aid is managed for now 125 million people in dire need, nearly half of them conflict refugees and migrants, said O' Brien in a briefing here last Monday.

The summit will include High-Level Leaders' Roundtables on priority action areas, Special Sessions on specific thematic areas; and a Summit Announcement Plenary for Member States and other stakeholders to announce action commitments. (PNA/Xinhua)

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