Lebanon: mobilization of the international community for Beirut
The President of the European Council Charles Michel met with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun in Beirut, this Saturday, August 8, 2020. Dalati Nohra / Handout via REUTERS
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After Emmanuel Macron, the President of the European Council Charles Michel arrived in Beirut this Saturday, while the chancelleries are busy preparing the donors' conference announced for tomorrow Sunday.
The videoconference of donors in support of Lebanon will take place this Sunday at 12 p.m. (GMT) and it will be co-organized by the UN and France, the French presidency said this Saturday morning.
The European institutions will participate in this conference of donors intended to mobilize emergency humanitarian aid for the population of Beirut hard hit by the explosion of warehouses in the port on Tuesday.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, for his part arrived in Beirut this Saturday, to show the “ solidarity ” of Europeans “ shocked and saddened ”. He notably met Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
Thirty-three million euros released by the EU
The European Commission has already coordinated the dispatch of 300 specialized rescuers to the Lebanese capital where sixty people are still missing. The Union has also released 33 million euros for relief and medical aid.
The Lebanese authorities can also count on the Copernicus satellite mapping system to assess the extent of the damage on the spot, specifies our correspondent in Brussels, Laxmi Lota .
In a joint letter, the Presidents of the Commission and the European Council urge Member States to " step up their support for Lebanon ". Ursula Von der Leyen and Charles Michel recall that Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita, and that this cooperation with Europe is fundamental.
Trump present at the videoconference
US President Donald Trump also announced his participation in the video conference. The meeting will bring together " President Macron, the leaders of Lebanon and leaders from other places in the world, " he announced.
... We will be having a conference call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various other parts of the world. Everyone wants to help!Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2020
Many political personalities flock to the bedside of Lebanon. After Emmanuel Macron, the first to go to Beirut after the disaster (and who called on the Lebanese authorities for " profound changes "), the leader of the Arab League, Ahmad Aboul Gheit, as well as the Turkish vice-president Fuat Oktay and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu also visited Beirut on Saturday to assure Lebanese officials of their support.
On Tuesday, a fire in a warehouse where 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port of Beirut caused a huge explosion that left more than 150 dead, more than 5,000 injured, dozens of missing and hundreds of thousands of homeless, according to a latest report. A drama that occurs in a country drained of economic life and which has been experiencing strong political protest for months.
Calls for a large anti-government rally have been circulating for several days, reports our special envoy, Pierre Olivier . This mobilization should take place this Saturday afternoon, Place des Martyrs, a few hundred meters from the site of the explosion.
► To read also : Explosions in Beirut: the Lebanese president rejects any international investigation
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