Offers of assistance pour in for Lebanon after deadly Beirut explosions

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Countries around the world have been paying tribute to victims of two deadly blasts in Beirut on Tuesday and sending offers of assistance to Lebanon, a country already reeling from the effects of overlapping crises before disaster struck its capital.

“France stands and will always stand by the side of Lebanon and the Lebanese. It is ready to provide assistance according to the needs expressed by the Lebanese authorities,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a tweet after the incident in Beirut which left scores dead and wounded thousands more.

French President Emmanuel Macron said French aid and resources were being sent to Lebanon.

Large explosion in harbor area rocks Lebanon
Destroyed vehicles following an explosion at the Beirut Port, Beirut, Lebanon. EPA-EFE/IBRAHIM DIRANI

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country stood ready to provide any support it could to help.

“The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident.

“The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected.”

In the United States, the State Department was closely following reports of an explosion in Beirut and stands ready to offer ‘all possible assistance’, a spokesperson for the agency said

The State Department has no information about the cause of the explosion, the spokesperson said and added that the agency is working closely with local authorities to determine if any US citizens were affected in the incident.

Large explosion in harbor area rocks Lebanon
Smoke rises near a destroyed grain silo following an explosion at the Beirut Port, Beirut, Lebanon. EPA-EFE/IBRAHIM DIRANI/DAR AL MUSSAWIR

Israel offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, with which it is still technically at war, after Tuesday’s explosions.

“Following the explosion in Beirut, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government — via international intermediaries — medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,” said a joint statement from the two ministries.

See also: UPDATED: Lebanon in shock as toll continues to rise in blast that shook Beirut

Meanwhile, Iran’s top diplomat expressed Tehran’s support for the “resilient” people of Lebanon after the blasts.

Countries in the Gulf paid tribute to victims as well, with Qatar saying it would send field hospitals to support Lebanon’s medical response.

Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called President Michel Aoun to offer condolences, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency.

The WHO’s director-general added that his organization “stands ready to support the government and healthworkers in saving lives”.

Large explosion in harbor area rocks Lebanon
Smoke billows from harbor area with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor of Beirut, Lebanon, 04 August 2020. . EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

Via FRANCE 24 / AFP / REUTERS

 

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