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.


Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

Updated 15 min 50 sec ago

Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

  • The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire
  • Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed

ANKARA: Turkey and Russia have agreed to monitor a truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region from a joint peacekeeping center, Ankara’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire signed this month between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed, the defense ministry said in a statement, adding that it would begin work “as soon as possible.”
Turkey is a staunch ally of Azerbaijan and has fervently defended its right to take back the Nagorno-Karabakh lands Baku lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.
The truce deal ended more than six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 1,400 lives and saw ethnic Armenians agree to withdraw from large parts of the contested region of Azerbaijan.
The Turkish parliament voted this month to deploy a mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.”
The deployment is set to last a year and its size will be determined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia has said repeatedly that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the truce deal’s terms.