UK’s Boris Johnson calls Lebanese President Michel Aoun to discuss Beirut recovery

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Mr Aoun thanked the UK for its £5 million in aid following Tuesday’s devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital

Aug 8, 2020

August 8, 2020

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Lebanese President Michel Aoun have discussed Lebanon’s urgent reconstruction needs in the wake of the explosion that devastated Beirut.

According to a Downing Street official, the two men spoke on Saturday of the humanitarian and medical situation in the Lebanese capital, with Mr Johnson passing on the UK’s condolences to the Lebanese people.

“The prime minister reiterated the UK’s long-standing friendship with Lebanon and commitment to stand by the country in its hour of need,” the spokesperson said.

“The two leaders discussed the urgent humanitarian, medical and reconstruction needs following the blast at Beirut Port and President Aoun thanked the UK for the support provided to date, including the release of £5 million in emergency funding and deployment of HMS Enterprise.

“With Lebanon facing threats from a financial crisis, coronavirus and the effects of this tragic blast, they agreed to work with international partners to ensure the country’s long-term recovery and rehabilitation.”

In the wake of Tuesday’s huge explosion, which killed more than 150 people, injured thousands and left a wave of destruction around Beirut’s port, the British government has pledged up to £5 million in emergency funding to help the estimated 300,000 people made homeless in Beirut by the blasts.

The UK also said it offered support to the Lebanese armed forces and an emergency medical team.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II said she had been “deeply saddened” by the news of the explosion.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives, and all those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected,” she said.

Updated: August 8, 2020 10:53 PM

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