General news: Beirut port explosion search and rescue continues to provide assistance to Lebanon from international community
Xinhua News Agency, Beirut, August 10 (Reporter Li Liangyong) The search and rescue operation of the missing persons in the bombing in the port area of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, continued on the 9th, and the international community provided further assistance to Lebanon. At the same time, two cabinet ministers announced their resignations on the same day.
The Lebanese military said at a briefing on the progress of the search and rescue on the 9th that after the explosion, search and rescue teams from France, Russia, Qatar, Germany and other countries have arrived in Lebanon one after another to conduct search and rescue at the explosion site. At present, the hope of finding survivors is diminishing. The first phase of the search and rescue operation has ended, and search and rescue teams in some countries are preparing to leave. The search and rescue teams of France, Russia, Turkey and other countries have decided to continue to participate in search and rescue and clean-up work.
In addition, the work of cleaning up the ruins of some damaged buildings in Beirut continued on the same day, with volunteers from all over the country and some foreign workers joining them.
Under the initiative of France and the United Nations, a video conference on international assistance to Lebanon was held on the 9th. Leaders or representatives of some countries and governments, as well as heads of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, attended the video conference.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in a video conference that Lebanon is already in an economic crisis, and coupled with the new crown epidemic, "response to these problems is beyond Lebanon's ability." Beirut’s reconstruction needs are huge, and he expressed his gratitude to all countries that have extended a helping hand to Lebanon.
The Chinese government’s special envoy for the Middle East, Zhai Jun, announced at the meeting that China will provide assistance to Lebanon to support Lebanon in treating the injured in the explosion and provide assistance to families who have suffered huge losses or have been displaced.
The French Presidential Palace stated that the parties involved promised to provide Lebanon with 252.7 million euros (approximately US$298 million) in short-term loans.
Following the massive explosion in the port area of Beirut on the 8th and large-scale demonstrations against corruption by the authorities, another large-scale demonstration took place in the center of Beirut on the 9th. The demonstrators clashed with the police. The casualties are not yet known.
Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdul-Samad announced his resignation on the 9th, becoming the first government minister to announce his resignation after the explosion in the Beirut port area. Abdul Samad issued a television statement saying that the announcement of his resignation was in response to the voice of the people. Later that day, Environment Minister Demianus Qatar announced his resignation.
According to Lebanese media reports, more cabinet ministers are expected to resign. Prime Minister Hassan Diab persuaded other cabinet members to postpone their resignations pending the outcome of the special cabinet meeting held on the afternoon of the 10th. According to reports, the meeting is expected to discuss Diab’s proposal to hold parliamentary elections in advance.
A violent explosion occurred in the Beirut port area on the evening of the 4th. So far, the explosion has caused 158 deaths and more than 6000 injuries, and dozens of others are still missing. The explosion also left about 300,000 people homeless.