Lebanese President Michel Aoun greeted his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at Beirut-Rafik Hariri International Airport around noon Thursday.
“After the explosion in the Port of Beirut, I am here and I carry with me the friendship and brotherhood that brings France and Lebanon together,” Macron declared at the airport.
“French aid planes arrived yesterday, and within hours, another plane will arrive,” he added, emphasizing that the priority is to help and support the Lebanese people without any conditions.
The most important thing is solidarity and brotherhood with Lebanon, and we will not leave you.
French President Emmanuel Macron.
Less than an hour after his arrival in the Lebanese capital, Macron headed to its port to inspect the explosion site.
The French President, who had promised to visit Lebanon following the Tuesday explosion that killed at least 135 people and injured around 5,000, stressed that reform “cannot be achieved with the presence of corruption in Lebanon.”
Before heading to Baabda for the official meeting, Macron walked through the neighborhoods of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh, where he inspected the damages and interacted with the people who rallied to greet and talk with him.
In response to the “revolution” and “help us” chants, and some of the conversations that he held with the people he met, who asked him to help them change Lebanon’s political system, Macron said that he would “propose a new charter.”
“The system must change in Lebanon,” he told the crowd, pledging that aid will not go to “corrupt hands,” and earning the top spot on Twitter trends in Lebanon.
Notably, local media reported that 7 explosion experts who had previously investigated explosions in Europe had landed in Beirut with the French delegation on Thursday.