US President Donald Trump is expected to join representatives of Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Nations, the European Council and others for the donors’ conference, the Elysee Palace said.
Protesters took over the foreign ministry, the environment ministry and the economy ministry as they called for the fall of the ruling elite. The bank association, which protesters blame for the country̵
During a visit to Beirut on Thursday, Macron told the crowd that he would propose a “new political pact” to fight Lebanon’s political class and vowed to ensure that aid was not lost to corruption.
“This aid, I guarantee it, will not end up in corrupt hands. I will talk to all political forces to demand a new pact,” Macron said, according to an aide to the Elysee Palace. “I am here today to propose a new political pact. If they [the political forces] unable to abide by this pact, I will assume my responsibilities. “
The international community has already sent emergency medical and food supplies to the country and promised financial assistance.
Saturday’s demonstrations, called Doomsday protests, stretched to the surrounding neighborhoods and the city’s main highway, in the biggest outburst of public discontent since the country’s uprising last October.
Parts of the demonstrations remained peaceful, while other parts were filled mostly with angry protesters facing security forces. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck, firing tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters threw stones and fireworks.
The response of the security forces did not seem to disperse many angry protesters. A woman who stumbled when she came across people running in her direction said, “They bombed our city. I’ll be back.” Her face soaked with tears, she took her belongings, as well as some stones, and headed back to the crowd.
“You survive an explosion in Beirut just to be in tears,” said a 20-year-old man holding an onion to his mouth to mitigate the effects of the gas.
Some demonstrators erected mock gallows, a key symbol of the demonstrations. Prominent political leaders, including former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, have been hanged, in some of the most obvious signs of public outrage the country has seen in years.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has vowed to hold early elections on Saturday as his clothed government faces calls to step down. He said he would remain in government for two months until the main parties reach an agreement.
Diab also spoke about the ongoing political and economic crisis in the country in a televised speech. “We need a national solution. We have taken over the country at an extraordinary time … what happened is due to corruption and mismanagement,” he said.
Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced his resignation on Sunday via a tweet from the Lebanese Ministry of Information.
“I apologize to the Lebanese for failing to meet their aspirations. Change has remained inevitable and as the reality does not match the ambitions and after the horror of the Beirut disaster, I am resigning from the government,” Abdel Samad said in a statement. news agency (NNA).
Abdel Samad was part of a new cabinet appointed in January following the resignation of the previous government following mass protests last year.
Security officials are facing questions
Lebanese Judge Ghassan El-Khoury will resume hearings with security officials on Monday to investigate technical information about the circumstances of the blast, the NNA reported on Sunday.
Military police continue to question security officials in the port of Beirut as part of investigations into the blast, under the supervision of prosecutors, the NNA reported.
Authorities detained 16 people in connection with the blast, including Lebanese customs director Badri Daher, Beirut port chief Hassan Kraitem and former customs chief Chafik Merei.
CNN’s Ben Wedman and Ghazi Balkiz reported from Beirut, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. Tamara Tsibalai, Mostafa Salem, Ali Younis, Jomana Karadsheh, Hamdi Alkhshali, Nada AlTaher and Pierre Bayrin contributed to the report, as did journalist Luna Safwan.