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The concept of global reach took on added meaning this week at Cisco.Cisco President and CEO John Chambers went to the White House where Pres. George W. Bush announced that Chambers would help direct a U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund to assist in that country’s reconstruction. From there, he traveled Central and Eastern Europe, where he announced a $275 million investment in Turkey.The U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund will be headed by Chambers and Craig Barrett, Chairman, Intel Corporation; Yousif Ghafari, Chairman, GHAFARI, Inc.; and Dr. Ray Irani, Chairman, President and CEO, Occidental Petroleum Corporation. They will lead the fund in an effort to raise money to complement the more than $230 million in aid to Lebanon already pledged by the U.S. government.Bush_Chambers.jpgMembers of the delegation recently returned from a trip to the region in which they surveyed the relief and reconstruction efforts, met with Lebanese officials and business leaders to address the devastation and assess where U.S. donor assistance is most needed.”The situation in Lebanon is of great concern to us, and it is our goal to support the reconstruction effort in Lebanon and in turn help provide greater access to education and economic opportunity,” Chambers said.”By focusing on long-term solutions, we hope to contribute to a better future for this region.” For more information about the fund and contributing to the effort, visit www.lebanonpartnership.orgFrom Washington, Chambers traveled to Central and Eastern Europe. In Ankara, Turkey, he discussed investment plans with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, focusing on enabling Turkey to better compete globally through the adoption of information communications technology and improved education.”Technology is able to drive the productivity and standard of living for communities and countries on a global basis, and Turkey understands the critical importance and transformative impact technology can have on businesses, governments, societies and the overall economic growth of the country,” said Chambers. Among the initiatives Cisco will support, is the establishment of 200 new Networking Academies in the country over the next five years to provide enhanced technical programs in concert with leading local universities. There are currently 47 Networking Academies across Turkey.

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