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Monday, 21 September 2020

Arab League says ready to mobilise Arab efforts to help Lebanon

Saturday 8 Aug 2020
Head of Arab League in Lebanon
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun (R) receiving Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmad Abou el-Gheit at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut on August 8, 2020. (AFP)
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Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday he would seek to mobilise Arab efforts to provide support to Lebanon after this week's catastrophic explosion in Beirut destroyed parts of the capital.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, he also said the Cairo-based league of Arab states was ready to assist the investigation into the blast.

"We are ready to help with all our means," he said, adding that he would take part in an international conference call to be organised by France on Sunday to discuss aid for Lebanon.

The explosion killed more than 150 people, injured 5,000 and left up to 250,000 without habitable homes. The blast occured at a port warehouse containing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and explosives.

The disaster struck as Lebanon is struggling with a deep economic crisis.

Oil-rich Gulf Arab states, which have long channelled funds into Lebanon’s fragile economy, had refrained this time from providing financial assistance, alarmed by the rising influence of Hezbollah, a powerful group backed by their arch-rival Iran.

"The recent, dangerous, painful events prove that there is no alternative (for Lebanon) to preserving the bridges with the Arab environment," the Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter.

*This story had been edited by Ahram Online 

 

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