The participants in the hypothetical international conference to assist Lebanon, which was held today (Sunday) in Paris at the invitation of the French President and in conjunction with the United Nations and with the participation of 36 officials including heads, kings, heads of government, foreign ministers and directors of international financial institutions, decided to work firmly and in solidarity to help Beirut and the Lebanese people overcome the consequences of the August 4 tragedy.
They agreed to mobilize important resources in the coming days and weeks in order to fully meet the immediate needs.
In the final statement of the conference, the attendees agreed that their aid would be prompt, adequate and proportionate to the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and that it would be delivered directly to the Lebanese people, with the highest degree of effectiveness and transparency. They also expressed “Willingness to support the economic and financial advancement of Lebanon, which requires, as part of a strategy to achieve stability, the full commitment of the Lebanese authorities to swiftly implement the measures and reforms that the Lebanese people expect”.
The statement clarified that at the request of Lebanon, assistance for an impartial, reliable and independent investigation into the August 4 explosion is an immediate need and is available.
After President Macron’s opening speech, followed by President Aoun’s speech – which he gave in the English language, a number of participants followed:
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed:
“I carried a message of support from the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Lebanon and its people, and his condolences for the lives lost. I presented what the United Nations had done to coordinate international aid, and stressed that work is underway to develop plans for reconstruction and provide material aid, and that the enormity of the disaster makes it necessary for concerted efforts of all international organizations to speed up work and alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese”.
Mohammed pointed out the importance of focusing on the post-tragedy period, which would provide the Lebanese with the necessary care on more than one level to face the consequences, especially since Lebanon is already suffering from an economic and financial crisis, as it has generously hosted the displaced Syrians.
“And I sent a message to the Lebanese stating that the world stands with them” she concluded.
US President Donald Trump:
US President expressed his sincere condolences to the Lebanese people, pointing to the ties between Lebanon and the US, and that the aid had already moved towards Lebanon after the tragic incident that he had never seen before, and some of it arrived and the other part is on its way there.
The American President stressed the need to know who was behind this explosion and the cause, and whether it was really an accident or not. “We are working closely with France to address the effects of this incident, and we will continue to do so, and we are committed to helping to overcome these difficult circumstances” President Trump concluded.
Jordanian King Abdullah II:
King Abdullah described the tragedy that Lebanon witnessed as “horrible”, in light of the outbreak of Corona and the economic and financial crisis, and pointed out the importance of the world standing by Lebanon, and that this conference is an embodiment of this talk, because it is not possible to stand to watch. He announced that the Jordanian foreign minister would be sent to Beirut next week to coordinate Jordanian aid to Lebanon.
The Jordanian King called for strengthening the factors of solidarity in order to face the big crises, expressing his country’s readiness to be a meeting point for the world to provide assistance to Lebanon, as well as its willingness to help with the countries of the world in the long term to enhance the Lebanese food reserve, on the financial and energy levels.
He called for doing everything possible to preserve the characteristics of Lebanon and its great cultural heritage, and to help the Lebanese to overcome this crisis.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi:
“We hope that this rapid assistance, which will follow, will slightly alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese during this difficult time” the Egyptian President said stating that he is confident that everyone, including of course the Lebanon Support Group, will do what they can to preserve security and stability in it and return it to what it was.
President El-Sisi presented what Egypt did to meet the urgent Lebanese needs after the explosion, and it expresses its willingness to provide all kinds of assistance, including reconstruction.
“The situation that everyone is experiencing due to the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, the Arab world has also suffered from it, but international support must be provided to the Lebanese people, which is inevitable and essential to overcoming this crisis, and the international community must help not allow Lebanon to be a land for settling regional disputes. And I called upon all the Lebanese to spare their country the influence of regional conflicts, and to focus their efforts on achieving economic reforms that cannot be delayed, in order to gain the confidence of states and obtain the required support in accordance with the decisions of the “Cedar” conference and others” President El-Sisi concluded.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad:
“Lebanon is currently facing a very bad period and facing many difficulties, and this conference confirms the determination of the international community to stand by Lebanon” the Emir of Qatar said indicating that Lebanon cannot overcome this crisis alone, and that national unity must be strengthened and governmental and societal efforts intensified. He called on the international community to provide all necessary assistance for immediate assistance, reconstruction and restoration, and for dialogue on domestic issues to be left to the Lebanese people and their awareness.
Sheikh Bin Hamad also stressed that “Qatar will announce, in the coming days, its contribution to the reconstruction of Beirut during the programs that will be approved, and that it has provided urgent food aid worth 50 million dollars”.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro:
President Bolsonaro pointed to the strong relations between Lebanon and Brazil, which include a large Lebanese community and contribute effectively to society. He considered that everything that affects Lebanon affects Brazil as well. The Brazilian President announced the dispatch of relief aid, and a Brazilian plane carrying medical supplies will land in Beirut in the coming days.
“400 tons of rice will also be sent by ship, and we have also agreed with the Lebanese authorities to send a technical team to help conduct investigations into the causes of the explosion, and I have appointed former president Michel Tamer. – Of Lebanese origin – heading a special team to follow-up on this issue, and he stands with the Brotherhood in Lebanon in order to achieve peace, freedom and prosperity in this country, and the Lebanese can count on Brazil’s support for them” President Bolsonaro added.
Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades:
The President of Cyprus announced that his country is still suffering from the effects of shock from the terrible scenes that prevailed after the Port of Beirut explosion. He stressed his country’s solidarity with Lebanon, asserting the necessity of a rapid response to the Lebanese needs, in light of the great economic crisis that he was suffering from before the explosion, in addition to receiving more than a million and a half million displaced Syrians.
President Anastasiades reviewed the Lebanese-Cypriot relations, and announced that his country would provide financial aid worth 5 million euros, and place Cyprus’s airports near Lebanon at the disposal of UNIFIL, the United Nations and countries wishing to send humanitarian and other aid to Lebanon. He concluded affirming readiness to send more aid in the search operations if “Friend President Michel Aoun asks”. Cyprus will also send planes containing foodstuffs, generators and other necessary things in this circumstance, “Which reflects the keenness of the Cypriots to support their brothers in Lebanon”.
European Council, President Jean Michel:
EU President announced the horror of the scenes that he witnessed during his stay in Lebanon yesterday, as a result of the explosion, and expressed his impact on his meeting with volunteers and rescue teams, which indicates determination to overcome the crisis. President Michel announced that, “Shortly after the explosion, the European Union mobilized its crews to send humanitarian aid worth 33 million euros, and more than 250 rescuers were on Lebanese soil, and tons of emergency aid would also be sent, and additional aid would be sent, and the possibility of sending additional aid worth 30 million euros”.
He stressed the readiness of state officials to provide assistance, according to the contacts he had with them. The EU President concluded asserting the importance of conducting an independent and credible investigation to find out the causes of the explosion, which is a right of the Lebanese people, and the European Union is ready to assist in this regard, and considered it urgent to carry out the necessary reforms in several areas, and to agree with the International Monetary Fund to help put Lebanon on the right track.
Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abou l Gheit:
Abou l Gheit praised the morale and determination that drives the Lebanese people not to despair and continue, during his visit to Beirut yesterday. He stressed that the whole world confirms that the Lebanese will not be left alone, and the priority is to rebuild and bring people back to their homes, and the university will put all its resources and experience in order to achieve this goal.
“The Lebanese have the right to know the truth about the accident and to achieve justice” President Abou l Gheit said, expressing the university’s readiness to assist in the transparent investigations to punish those responsible.
Australian Commonwealth Prime Minister, Scott Morrison:
PM Morrison drew attention to the deep ties between Lebanon and Australia due to the Lebanese presence there, and that the Australians were affected by what happened, especially the death of an Australian child as a result of the explosion, who was only two years old. He stressed that his country stands with Lebanon and its people, and the Lebanese community in Australia gathers what is necessary to stand by their families in Lebanon.
“We have provided a total of two million dollars in urgent humanitarian aid after the explosion, and we will increase the amount to 5 million, and we will remain ready to provide more aid upon request” the Australian PM said.
PM Morrison also called for the resumption of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, as it “Would restore confidence from the countries helping Lebanon”.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos, Mitsu Tsakis:
“I consider it important today to send a message to the Lebanese people full of solidarity, unity and peace, especially in this circumstance” PM Tsakis said. He listed the humanitarian aid that Greece provided to Lebanon in the first hours after the explosion, indicating that Lebanon today needs all the available aid, not just on the humanitarian level. The Greek PM considered that this disaster constitutes a big blow also to Lebanon’s generosity in hosting the displaced on its land, and called on the Lebanese to put aside their differences to lead their country to salvation.
Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte:
PM Conte stressed that Italy and the international community stand by Lebanon, and that his country has sent urgent aid, including 8.5 tons of food and medical supplies, in addition to rescue teams and others. He pointed out that his country has provided 14.5 million euros to Lebanon this year in aid, and it also intends to provide another 9 million.
Prime Minister Conte called on the Lebanese to carry out the necessary economic reforms and to uncover the circumstances of the explosion, stressing Italy’s insistence on standing by Lebanon, because its stability constitutes a strategic value for the Italians, and it is important for the security and prosperity of the region as a whole.
Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro S?nchez:
The Spanish PM called for working with greater solidarity among countries in order to deliver aid to Lebanon, to help Lebanon face the economic problem that it suffers from, and for the government to act quickly in order to carry out the necessary reforms.
Swedish Prime Minister, Kagel Stefan Love Van:
The Prime Minister of Sweden confirmed his country’s commitment to stand by Lebanon in this delicate circumstance, and in its endeavor to reach a peaceful and democratic future. He reviewed the assistance provided by his country, amounting to 4.8 million euros, and it is ready to provide more in the next stage.
PM Love Van also called for reforms and fighting corruption.
Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah:
“I announce that the State of Kuwait is ready to provide support to Lebanon in the face of this disaster, with prior commitments to the Kuwait Fund for Development that have been allocated to Lebanon in the amount of nearly $ 30 million, which will be coordinated with the Lebanese authorities, in addition to urgent medical and food aid amounting to $ 11 million and donations from Kuwaiti charities” Prime Minister Al-Sabah said.
Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi:
The Prime Minister of Iraq pointed out that they “We will continue our support to fill the immediate deficiencies in the field of grain. We found that we have an immediate responsibility to stand by our Lebanese brothers to face the latest challenges, and this will not be achieved without assuming a joint international responsibility towards Lebanon. We hope that a project will be launched from this conference to help the Lebanese to re-evaluate their political experience, coupled with the initiative to support the Lebanese economy and reconstruction”.
Finnish Foreign Minister, Becka Haavisto:
The Prime Minister of Finland expressed shock at what happened, and the importance of an independent investigation. PM Haavisto confirmed the arrival of Finnish aid to Lebanon after the explosion, and offered Finnish aid to Lebanon in general, calling on the Lebanese to move to make the necessary changes.
Norwegian Foreign Minister, Ene Eriksen Saridh:
The Prime Minister of Norway announced that before the explosion, her country had provided aid to Lebanon worth 15 million euros to help it cope with the problems of lack, including the burden of the displaced Syrians, and that it would provide an amount of about 7 million euros for relief aid, including 40 tons of medical supplies.
She called on the Lebanese government to fulfill its promises during the “Cedar” conference, noting that her country stands by Lebanon’s side on its way to its recovery.
Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gibe Kovoud:
Prime Minister Kovoud expressed his country’s condolences and solidarity with Lebanon and its people, and announced that his country would provide 24 million dollars to support Beirut and its people, in addition to the two million dollars that were announced. He called on Lebanese officials to take bold steps towards reforms, combating corruption, and meeting international requirements in this field.
Canadian Development Minister, Karina Gould:
The Development Minister of Canada affirmed that her country stood by Lebanon’s side, and that Canadians and the Lebanese community in Canada move quickly to help the Lebanese in this difficult time. She announced the provision of 5 million dollars in humanitarian aid, including 1.5 million dollars to the Lebanese Red Cross, and a special fund for Lebanon, through which the Canadians donated two million dollars.
Minister Gould indicated that “If Lebanon does not adhere to the reform measures, there will be no international aid” calling for a transparent investigation to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.
Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands:
The Dutch Trade and Development Minister expressed her country’s stand by the Lebanese people, and shared the pain of the victims of the explosion, including the wife of the Dutch Ambassador to Lebanon. Minister Kaag drew attention to the aid that her country provided after the explosion, from specialized relief personnel, to aid worth one million euros to the Lebanese Red Cross, and an urgent support of 3 million euros was approved. She expressed willingness to develop the expertise of the Rotterdam port, in cooperation with the World Bank, for the rapid reconstruction of the port.
Minister Kaag also called for immediate changes and reforms to implement the demands of the Lebanese people, and for a new social contract in Lebanon.
British Secretary of State for International Development and Northern Ireland, Anne-Marie Trevelyan:
The British Secretary of State explained that the disaster had come at a time when Lebanon is suffering from an economic crisis and the outbreak of the Corona around the world, and she confirmed that just as Britain had previously stood with Lebanon in previous stations, it would continue to do so, and Britain had already sent teams and immediate aid to Lebanon after the explosion.
She announced the provision of 20 million pounds through the World Food Program, to secure food and medicine for people, and the Supreme Adviser for Defense in the Middle East arrived today to embody British support for Lebanon, where he will meet at a later time the Lebanese President as the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Trevelyan called on all parties to avoid escalation and work to restore calm in the country, and that Lebanese officials must work to take appropriate decisions in the interest of the people, and corruption must end.
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas:
Minister Maas stressed that Germany is ready, through its presidency of the Council of the European Union, to help the Union coordinate the assistance provided by its members. “Germany has immediately sent 47 rescue personnel to search for the missing and provide immediate assistance. Germany will provide 10 million euros for aid in relief operations, which will be provided to the United Nations, the International Red Cross and some humanitarian organizations. There will also be € 10 million available for cooperation in development projects” the German Foreign Minister asserted.
Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan:
Minister Bin Farhan pointed out that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to initiate immediate relief assistance to Lebanon. “So far we have sent 4 planes loaded with relief materials. We stand by Lebanon and stress the importance of an independent investigation to uncover the causes of the explosion. The continued dominance of Hezbollah in Lebanon is a source of concern to all of us. Saudi Arabia stresses that Lebanon meets the requirements of reform to help it face its economic crisis” Bin Farhan added.
Belgium’s Foreign Minister, Philippe Goffin:
“Belgium has decided to allocate one million euros for the International Red Cross to meet emergency health needs in Lebanon, as well as allocate five million euros to some humanitarian organizations working to provide relief aid, in Lebanon” Minister Goffin stated.
Minister of State for International Cooperation in the UAE, Reem Al-Hashemi:
“The UAE has so far provided urgent aid amounting to 80 tons of medical materials, and additional aid is on its way to Lebanon. To overcome the current ordeal, the airport and port in Lebanon must be under the control of the Lebanese authority, and international resolution 1701, which calls for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, must be implemented” Minister Al-Hashemi said.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Linarchik:
The European Commissioner praised the advantages of the Lebanese people and their ability to continue life despite the difficulties they face, knowing that it hosts a large number of displaced Syrians on its soil.
He reviewed the aid provided by the European continent on multiple levels, calling for coordination on the short and long term, to rebuild what was destroyed in Beirut.
Director of the International Fund, Catalina Georgieva:
“I considered that this disaster occurred during difficult times that Lebanon is going through”, Georgieva said and expressed regret that the talks that the World Bank is conducting with Lebanon have not yet reached a result, and this must change. “On our part, we will double our efforts, but in return we want all Lebanese institutions to show solidarity in order to achieve reform” she continued.
The International Fund Director emphasized the importance of restoring the solvency of public resources, the solidity of the banking sector’s strength and achieving reform, without which there would be no confidence in the economy, no economic recovery, and there would be no jobs. “Temporary preventive guarantees must be put in place to avoid the continued exit of capital, and this includes passing a law that legalizes capital controls in the banking system and abolishes the existing multiple exchange rate system” Georgieva concluded.
European Investment Bank President, Warner Heuer:
President Heuer explained that all the international and international financial institutions are working together to coordinate assistance to Lebanon, which unfortunately has not committed itself to achieving the reforms required of it since the CEDRE conference.
International Red Cross President, Peter Maurer:
President Maurer said “We have worked on the ground from the first moment of the explosion in cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross”, listing the services and support provided by the Red Cross teams, and considering that the Red Cross relief work as a result of the explosion needs about 40 million euros until the end of this year.
The Swiss representative for Humanitarian Aid, Manuel Bessler:
Bessler stressed that his country, from the first moment of the explosion, rushed to send urgent aid, and it would provide an amount of 4 million Swiss francs to support the Lebanese people. He called on the Lebanese government to respond to the calls of its people.
Chinese Special Envoy to the Middle East, John Zhai:
Zhai explained that there are 18 medical teams now in Lebanon to provide assistance. “Lebanon is now in need of international assistance, which also affects 300,000 people who were displaced from their homes as a result of the explosion. We must help Lebanon to rebuild what was destroyed as a result of the explosion, especially the port of Beirut, and China is ready to provide assistance in this field. It must be encouraged. All Lebanese parties are committed to preserving the unity and stability of Lebanon” Zhai continued.
President Aoun Thanks:
After the end of the interventions, President Aoun thanked all those who participated in the conference and the positions in which they expressed their solidarity with Lebanon, and stressed the continuation of coordination between Lebanon and these countries and the United Nations to ensure that aid reaches the affected people.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohamed, also thanked the participants on behalf of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, stressing that coordination will continue among all countries to help Lebanon.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian thanked, on behalf of President Macron, all the participants who showed special sympathy for Lebanon in these difficult circumstances.
After the participants finished delivering their interventions, the following statement was subsequently issued:
“Convened in immediate response to and support in the aftermath of the August 4th explosion in Beirut, the “International conference on support to Beirut and the Lebanese people” met virtually on August 9th at the invitation of the President of the French Republic and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This emergency Conference gathered: [Liste des Etats et organisations internationales participants].
The Beirut explosion on August 4th, which struck the city in its very heart, was a shock to all of Lebanon’s people, friends and partners abroad. The participants to today’s Conference stood in solidarity with Lebanon. They extended their most heartfelt condolences to the residents of Beirut, many of whom have lost family members and colleagues and friends. The participants to today’s Conference also wished a swift recovery to the wounded and traumatized.
The participants have commended the remarkable courage of first-responders, medical teams, search and rescue teams and all Lebanese and international personnel dispatched in Beirut to assist the victims and provide emergency efforts, notably the Lebanese Red Cross and Lebanese civil defense teams.
The international community, Lebanon’s closest friends and partners, will not let Lebanese people down.
The participants decided to act resolutely in solidarity to help Beirut and the Lebanese people overcome the consequences of the August 4th tragedy. They agreed to put together in the coming days and weeks major resources in order to best answer the immediate needs of Beirut and the Lebanese people. As assessed by the United Nations, needs are particularly visible in the medical and health sector, education, food sector and urban rehabilitation, which will be prioritized in international emergency assistance programs.
The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency.
Upon request of Lebanon, assistance for an impartial, credible and independent inquiry on the explosion of August 4th is immediately needed and available.
Further to emergency assistance, partners stand ready to support the economic and financial recovery of Lebanon, which requires, as part of a stabilization strategy, that Lebanese authorities fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms expected by the Lebanese people.
In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone. The international community, including Lebanon’s most crucial partners gathered together with France and the United Nations, standing alongside Beirut and the Lebanese people and will continue to do their utmost to answer to their most urgent needs”.
List of Conference Participants:
In addition to the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun and French President Emmanuel Macron, the following participated in the conference: US President, Donald Trump, Jordanian King, Abdullah II, Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad II, President of Brazil, Gerbol Sonaro, President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Abou l Gheit, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsu Tsakis, Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Sweden, Kajil Stephan Love Van, Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Philip Goffin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Djeby Kuvoud, Minister Foreign Minister of Finland, Becka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, Eksen Suredi, Commissioner of the European Union for Crises, Linarchik, Minister for Development of Canada, Karina Gould, Minister of Trade Affairs Foreign Ministry in the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, Minister of State for International Development Affairs in Britain, Anne Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State for International Cooperation in the United Arab Emirates, Reem Al-Hashemi, President of the International Red Cross, Peter Maurer, Director General of the International Monetary Fund, Catalina Georgieva, President of the European Investment Bank, Warner Hoyer, Director of Operations at the World Bank, Axel van Trotsenberg, Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan, Norihiro Nakayama, Chinese Special Envoy to the Middle East, John Zhai, Swiss Minister, Manuel Bessler, European Union Delegate for Reconstruction.
Source: National News Agency