EU pledges more than 2bln to support Syrian refugees

FILE PHOTO: France hosts humanitarian conference for Sudan and neighbouring countries

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union pledged more than 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion) to support Syrian refugees across the region on Monday and dismissed any talk of a possible return of refugees to their homeland, saying conditions for a voluntary and safe return were not in place.

"But our commitment cannot end with financial pledges alone," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at the start of a conference on Syria in Brussels. "Despite the lack of recent progress, we must redouble our efforts to find a political solution to the conflict, a solution that upholds the aspirations of the Syrian people for a peaceful and democratic future."

($1 = 0.9215 euros)

(Reporting by John Irish, Editing by Timothy Heritage)