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On Beirut visit, Macron says aid to go 'directly to the people', relief groups

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech during a news conference, following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 6, 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech during a news conference, following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 6, 2020. © Thibault Camus, Reuters
3 min

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday that an international aid conference for disaster-hit Lebanon would be held soon.

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Speaking to journalists at the end of a snap visit to Beirut, where more than 130 people were killed and several thousand more wounded in a massive explosion at the port on Tuesday, the French leader said the conference would be held "in the coming days".

Macron stressed that the aid raised during the conference would be chanelled "directly to the people, the relief organisations and the teams that need it on the ground".

He said that he personally had no further information into what may have caused Tuesday's deadly blast, beyond what was already in the public domain.

Macron also told the reporters in Lebanon that an international inquiry into the blast was needed, and that it had to be as transparent as possible.

Initial probes have pointed to a cargo of ammonium nitrate, which was abandoned in Beirut and exploded in a devastating fireball, as being the cause of the blast.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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