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Macron Urges World Leaders To Come Together For Lebanon

Macron Urges World Leaders To Come Together For Lebanon

French President Emmanuel Macron urged everyone "to come together in support of Lebanon and its people," as he opened an international donors' conference Sunday, five days after the devastating explosion that ripped through Beirut.

 

Meanwhile, on the streets of Lebanese capital, many people -- some skeptical about what the authorities will do and when -- were taking the clean-up operation following Tuesday's blast and violent protests Saturday into their own hands.

 


Lebanon was already in dire economic straits before the explosion wiped out Beirut's port area and damaged buildings across the city. At least 158 people were killed and dozens remain missing. More than 6,000 people were injured. As grief turned to anger, tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into central Beirut on Saturday calling for "revenge" against the ruling class of politicians widely held responsible for the explosion.
Speaking by video conference on Sunday, Macron told world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, that "the objective is to pool our resources to meet the needs of the population of Beirut."

 

However, the French President made clear that reforms were also needed.

 

"The explosion of August 4 was like a thunderbolt. It's time to wake up and take action," he said. "The Lebanese authorities now have to put in place the political and economic reforms which are being called for by the Lebanese people which is the only thing which will allow the international community to act efficiently side-by-side with Lebanon in its reconstruction."

 

Macron also thanked Trump and 15 other heads of state for getting involved. The French President added that Israel had also expressed a desire to provide aid.

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