Macron says aid to blast-stricken Lebanon will not go to ‘corrupt hands’
August 6, 2020
BEIRUT (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday promised aid to Lebanon but reassured angry citizens reeling from a blast that killed 145 people that no blank cheques will be given to its leaders unless they enact reforms and end rife corruption.
Speaking at a news conference at the end of a dramatic visit to Beirut, Macron called for an international inquiry into the devastating explosion that generated a seismic shock felt across the region, saying it was an urgent signal to carry out anti-corruption reforms demanded by a furious population.
Dozens are still missing after Tuesday’s explosion at the port that injured 5,000 people and left up to 250,000 without habitable homes, hammering a nation already staggering from economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus cases.
A security source said the death toll had reached 145, and officials said the figure was likely to rise.
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