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Saudi Arabia confirms importance of transparent & independent probe of Beirut blast
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 08 - 2020

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia emphasized the importance of conducting a transparent and independent investigation to uncover the causes of the horrific Beirut explosion, which killed some 150 people, wounded thousands and caused destruction throughout much of the city.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan affirmed that the Kingdom stands with Lebanon and confirmed the importance of conducting a transparent and independent investigation to uncover the causes that led to the horrific explosion and the multitude of victims and destruction it left in its wake.
Prince Faisal, participating in the International Conference on Assistance and Support to Beirut and the Lebanese people, made this statement in his speech in the donors' event that was organized by French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, via video conference, on Sunday, along with leaders from various other parts of the world.
The Minister offered condolences and sympathy to the people of Lebanon on the painful loss of lives and material following the blast in Beirut port, and also expressed his gratitude to Lebanon's friends in France and around the world that have gathered for this critical meeting reiterating their support to the Lebanese people in the face of this tragedy.
Prince Faisal, stressing the alacrity in Kingdom's efforts in providing aid and relief, said: "Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to send assistance in response to the tragic blast."
The Minister added, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman ordered an air bridge through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) to provide essential aid to the Lebanese people.
"Four planes have reached Beirut, carrying 290 tons of medical equipment, food supplies, and housing materials, in addition to the Center's relief efforts in Beirut where they distributed food baskets to victims," he said.
"The Lebanese people have the right to live in their country with security and respect. Lebanon is in dire need of comprehensive reform, politically and economically, to ensure that such a disaster can never occur again," he said.
"The reform needed to ensure Lebanon's political and economic future depends on strong state institutions that work in the true interest of the Lebanese people and giving the state a monopoly on force," he added.
"The continuation of the destructive dominance of the terrorist organization of Hezbollah raises concerns for us all. We are all aware of this organization's previously confirmed uses of explosive materials and its storage within civilian areas in Arab countries, Europe, and the Americas," he said.
The foreign minister concluded his speech by repeating that the Kingdom values France's invitation of Lebanon's friends to stand together in the emphasis of the stringent reform requirements requested by the international community aimed at assisting Lebanon out of this economic and political crisis.
Also, Saudi Arabia appreciates France's efforts to galvanize international efforts to respond and provide essential humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people and enable the Lebanese's desire for economic reforms.

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