US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Friday have agreed to send immediate aid to Lebanon in the wake of the two deadly blasts in capital Beirut which killed over 150 people.
In a telephonic conversation, the two leaders “expressed their deep sadness over the loss of life and devastation in Beirut”, Xinhua news agency quoted the White House as saying in a statement.
Both the leaders also agreed to work together with international partners to provide immediate aid to the Lebanese people, the statement further added.
Taking to Twitter later in the day, Trump said, “Had a lengthy discussion this morning with President Macron of France concerning numerous subjects, but in particular the catastrophic event which took place in Beirut, Lebanon.
“At 3 p.m. this afternoon, spoke to President (Michel) Aoun of Lebanon to inform him that three large aircraft are on the way, loaded up with Medical Supplies, Food and Water. Also, First Responders, Technicians, Doctors, and Nurses on the way”, he further added.
“We will be having a conference call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various other parts of the world. Everyone wants to help”, Trump said.
During his trip to Beirut on Thursday, Macron had announced that France would organize an international aid conference to raise funds for emergency relief.
On Tuesday, two enormous explosions devastated Beirut’s port that left more than 150 people dead and over 5,000 injured across wide parts of the country’s biggest city, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos across the Lebanese capital.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 tonnes of the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking “a disaster in every sense of the word”.
The blasts were so massive they shook the entire city and could be heard throughout the small country, and as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away.
The explosions also come as Lebanon awaits a UN tribunal’s verdict Friday on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri, killed in a huge truck bomb attack.