Paris (AFP)

Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday opened an international videoconference for aid to Lebanon, once again severely condemning the "unjustifiable dysfunctions" of Lebanese leaders and promising 100 million euros in "new commitments, in direct support to the population".

"The Lebanese leaders seem to be betting on rotting" by blocking for months the formation of a government and the implementation of reforms, lamented the French president, who co-chairs this event organized a year to the day after the explosion from the Port of Beirut.

"The crisis in Lebanon is not a stroke of fate, nor a fatality. It is the fruit of individual and collective bankruptcies and unjustifiable dysfunctions," insisted the French president.

"The entire Lebanese political class has never ceased to aggravate it by putting its individual and partisan interests above all else before the interests of the Lebanese people."

"All the appointments have been missed, no commitment has been kept," regretted Emmanuel Macron.

"Lebanon definitely deserves better than living on international solidarity," he added.

"Today's conference is a humanitarian conference in support of the population, so it is unconditional but there will be no blank checks for the benefit of the Lebanese political system, because it has been since the beginning of the crisis, and even before failing ", he still insisted.

He announced 100 million euros in new aid from France within 12 months by sending 500,000 doses of anti-Covid vaccines in the coming weeks.

Emmanuel Macron opened on August 4, 2021 an international videoconference for aid to Lebanon from Fort Brégançon Christophe SIMON POOL / AFP

According to the Elysee Palace, the United Nations estimate at more than 350 million dollars (357 million exactly, editor's note) the new needs of Lebanon which will have to be met in the areas of food, education, health, water purification.

Mr. Macron also called for the completion of the investigation into the explosion of the port, the conclusions of which have not yet been made, a year after the disaster.

"The Lebanese leaders are indebted for the truth, the transparency, with regard to their population" he wished.

"France and several other (countries) have cooperated to provide all the information at our disposal, we are available for all the technical cooperation" which would still be necessary in this investigation, the conclusions of which are "awaited by the entire Lebanese population", added the French president.

This conference, which should mobilize the international community to help the country, brings together representatives of some forty States and international organizations.

© 2021 AFP

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