French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called for an international investigation into the Beirut harbour explosion, killing more than 130 people and destroying entire neighbourhoods.
“An international, open and transparent investigation is needed to prevent things from being hidden and doubts creeping in,” he told reporters at the end of a brief visit to the Lebanese capital.
Initial findings indicate that a cargo of ammonium nitrate, which had been left in Beirut and exploded in a devastating fireball, was the cause of the disaster.
Macron also announced an international aid conference for Lebanon “in the coming days” at the news conference. He wants to “mobilize international funding and Europeans, Americans, all countries in the region and beyond, to provide medicine, care and food,” he said.
On-site aid must be coordinated by the United Nations and the World Bank, Macron said. This is to ensure that the aid reaches the population directly.
The President reiterated that he would return to Lebanon on September 1.