French President Emmanuel Macron is on a second visit to Lebanon which came less than a month after the massive August 4 Port of Beirut explosions.
Upon his arrival on Monday evening, Macron said this trip, as promised during his last visit, aims to follow up on the country’s political situation and distribution of humanitarian aid, as well as participating in celebrations of the centenary of Greater Lebanon, reports Xinhua news agency.
He urged Lebanon to fight corruption, reform the electricity sector and deal with the problems in the banking sector, promising a third visit to ensure that the new cabinet is capable of enforcing such reforms.
“Only then, the international community will be willing to support Lebanon,” Macron noted.
On Tuesday, Macron is expected to meet officials and representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
The French leader last visited Lebanon two days after the blasts, which were caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, that claimed the lives of at least 190 people and injured about 6,500 others, while three persons remain unaccounted for.
Macron arrived in the country just hours after the country’s envoy to Germany Mustapha Adib was named as the new Prime Minister following the resignation of the previous cabinet led by Hassan Diab amid mounting pressure over the explosions.
On August 11, Diab, who was appointed Prime Minister in January after months of deadlock, announced his cabinet’s resignation after many people accused the country’s leaders of culpability through their alleged negligence and corruption.