Macron calls aid conference for blast-hit Lebanon ‘in coming days’

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Aug.6, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 06 August 2020

Macron calls aid conference for blast-hit Lebanon ‘in coming days’

  • He stressed that the aid raised during the conference would be channeled “directly to the people, the relief organizations and the teams that need it on the ground”
  • The UN says it is releasing $9 million to address immediate needs following the explosion in Beirut

BEIRUT: French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday that an international aid conference for disaster-hit Lebanon would be held soon.
Speaking to journalists at the end of snap visit to Beirut, where more than 130 people were killed in a massive explosion at the port on Tuesday, he said the conference would be held “in the coming days.”

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He stressed that the aid raised during the conference would be channeled “directly to the people, the relief organizations and the teams that need it on the ground.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is releasing $9 million to address immediate needs following the explosion that devastated Beirut and help strengthen operations in the city’s hospitals.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said on Thursday the money from the Lebanese Humanitarian Fund will be following by additional funds from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund.
He said the UN is carrying out assessments of the damage and needs resulting from the massive explosion and hopes to hold a meeting on Monday to inform the 193 UN member states of the results and launch an appeal to help Lebanon.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”