Watch: French President Macron is first world leader to visit Lebanon after explosion
Amid a strong sense of anger, people continue to clear up the rubble and debris in the streets, following Tuesday’s devastating explosion that shook the Lebanese capital, Beirut. So far 160 people have been confirmed dead and another 5,000 injured.
French President Emmanuel Macron is the first head of state to visit Lebanon – a former French colony – after the tragedy, where he met with citizens affected by the explosion. He heard appeals from Lebanese citizens about the need for action on corruption and the delays and frequent dragging of feet. Macron said a political change was needed. Crowds in the streets began shouting and calling for a revolution.
Macron also met with Lebanese leaders. He said France would be helping Lebanon find its feet, while calling on Lebanese President Michel Aoun to make the necessary reforms, especially to tackle corruption.
With the country already in economic crisis, a number of countries including Jordan, Egypt and the United Kingdom are sending food and medicine supplies. Malta, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will also give Lebanon € 50,000 of its development aid budget.
The Lebanese Government arrested a number of officers who were working at the site of the explosion. The investigation is focusing on negligence in the storage of explosive material.
Meanwhile in northern Sydney, Australia, a number of citizens have called on a company to move an ammonium nitrate stockpile that is close to a residential area and is four times larger than the one that exploded in Lebanon. The company said the storage is secure because it had complied with all security rules.
ARA: Splużjoni kbira fil-Libanu – mijiet maqbuda fit-tifrik ta’ darhom