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Macron calls for 'profound change' in Lebanon as anger grows
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 08 - 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for "profound change" from Lebanon's leadership following Tuesday's massive blast in Beirut, killing at least 137 people and injured about 5,000 others.
Visiting the devastated city, he sought an international investigation into the incident.
The country must reform, he insisted. "This is the demand that France has been calling for, for months, if not years."
"If these reforms are not made, Lebanon will continue to sink," he warned as many blamed the government corruption, neglect, and mismanagement for the explosion.
"There is a political, moral, economic, and financial crisis that has lasted several months, several years. This implies a strong political responsibility." Macron said.
He added that he discussed addressing corruption and other urgent reforms with Lebanon's president and prime minister.
"I came here to show the support of the French nation for the Lebanese people," Macron said.
He also said he would meet with the entire political establishment, as well as intellectuals and journalists for "a dialogue of truth".
He promised locals a "new political pact", and would give the Lebanese government until Sept. 1 to impose it.
"Beyond the explosion, we know that the crisis here is serious, it implies historical responsibility from the leaders in place. It is a political, moral, economic, and financial crisis of which the first victims are the Lebanese people. And it imposes extremely rapid reactions," he argued.
Vowing to support Lebanon economically, Macron said: "We will have to organize additional support in the coming days, at the French level, also at the European level. I wish to organize European cooperation and more broadly international cooperation," he said.
"The priority is aid, support to the population, unconditionally," he went on, adding: "Because it's Lebanon, because it's France."
But he warned there would be "no blank check to a system that doesn't have the confidence of the people." — Agencies

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