The latest: France is preparing to launch a conference on aid to Lebanon

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BEIRUT – The latest news on the explosion in Beirut (all local times):12 h 05

The office of French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that an international aid conference will be organized on Sunday to support Lebanon after the deadly explosion in Beirut.

The videoconference, scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m. GMT, will be co-hosted by France and the United Nations, Macron’s office said.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would attend the conference which will also include other international leaders.

Macron, who walked through the destroyed streets of Beirut on a visit to Lebanon on Thursday, promised aid would not pass through “corrupt hands” but to NGOs and the civilian population.

The French president was the first foreign leader to visit following the devastating explosion. France is the former colonial power in Lebanon.

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11h45

Senior officials from the Middle East and Europe have started arriving in Lebanon in solidarity with the small country which suffered a deadly explosion this week that caused large-scale damage to the capital Beirut.

The first to arrive on Saturday was Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the head of the Arab League, which has 22 members, as well as Turkey’s vice president and foreign minister.

The visits come as the country braces for large anti-government protests amid popular anger against the Lebanese political elite.

The country’s ruling class, made up mostly of former civil war-era leaders, are accused of widespread corruption, incompetence and mismanagement that contributed to Tuesday’s explosion, in which 154 people were killed, more than 5,000 wounded and the largest port in the country and its surroundings. were destroyed.

The devastating explosion was triggered by thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the harbor which were apparently set off by a fire.

The Associated Press



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