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Lebanon: Macron warns 'Lebanon will continue to sink' without reforms during Beirut visit02:29

Lebanon: Macron warns 'Lebanon will continue to sink' without reforms during Beirut visit

Lebanon, Beirut
August 6, 2020 at 13:20 GMT -00:00 · Published

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Lebanon would "continue to sink" if no reforms were enacted as he visited Beirut on Thursday in the wake of the deadly explosions which occurred at the city's port.

Macron was speaking to a crowd of journalists upon arriving in Lebanon to assess the situation on the ground following Tuesday's explosions.

"Unconditional help and support to the local population is the priority. It's the requirement that France has put forward for months, if not for years to enact much-needed reforms in certain sectors, we know that is true for energy, the public sector, the fight against corruption. If these reforms are not enacted, Lebanon will continue to sink. It's another dialogue that we need to have and that I want to initiate today," said Macron.

"Besides the explosion, we know that the crisis here is serious and requires an unprecedented response from local politicians in power. It's a political, moral, economical and financial crisis who's first victim are the citizens of Lebanon," Macron emphasised.

He continued, adding that "The situation calls for urgent measures and so for me this visit is also an opportunity to have an open, honest dialogue and to be demanding towards politicians and Lebanese institutions."

Tuesday's blasts are thought to have been caused by the still unexplained ignition of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical material which was reportedly stored without precautionary measures at the port, according to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

Results of an investigation into the causes of the explosion are expected to be released in the next five days. The explosions killed at least 137 people, injured thousands and have left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Lebanon: Macron warns 'Lebanon will continue to sink' without reforms during Beirut visit02:29
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Mandatory credit: Lebanese state TV

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French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Lebanon would "continue to sink" if no reforms were enacted as he visited Beirut on Thursday in the wake of the deadly explosions which occurred at the city's port.

Macron was speaking to a crowd of journalists upon arriving in Lebanon to assess the situation on the ground following Tuesday's explosions.

"Unconditional help and support to the local population is the priority. It's the requirement that France has put forward for months, if not for years to enact much-needed reforms in certain sectors, we know that is true for energy, the public sector, the fight against corruption. If these reforms are not enacted, Lebanon will continue to sink. It's another dialogue that we need to have and that I want to initiate today," said Macron.

"Besides the explosion, we know that the crisis here is serious and requires an unprecedented response from local politicians in power. It's a political, moral, economical and financial crisis who's first victim are the citizens of Lebanon," Macron emphasised.

He continued, adding that "The situation calls for urgent measures and so for me this visit is also an opportunity to have an open, honest dialogue and to be demanding towards politicians and Lebanese institutions."

Tuesday's blasts are thought to have been caused by the still unexplained ignition of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical material which was reportedly stored without precautionary measures at the port, according to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

Results of an investigation into the causes of the explosion are expected to be released in the next five days. The explosions killed at least 137 people, injured thousands and have left hundreds of thousands homeless.

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