German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has announced that he will travel to Beirut on Wednesday and demand reforms in Lebanon.
“We will make it very clear to those responsible that we are ready to help, but we also believe that this country must be reformed,” Maas told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
His comments came after an international donor conference on Sunday raised about €250 million ($294 million) in relief effort following a massive explosion in Beirut that killed more than 150 people last week. But that money has been linked to political reforms in the country.
Maas tweeted on Sunday that he pledged “a further €20 million …from humanitarian aid and development cooperation funds,” saying “the people of Beirut need our help and they need hope.”
Maas will not be the first European politician to visit the country since the blast. French President Emmanuel Macron went last Thursday and promised to deliver aid, but he also called for political reforms. Macron hosted Sunday’s UN-backed donor conference.
Protesters have for months been demanding an end to political corruption and the country’s financial crisis.
Former Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti resigned one day before the explosion.
Information minister Manal Abdel resigned on Sunday and apologized for “failing” her country. Environmental minister Damianos Kattar also announced his resignation and Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm stepped down on Monday as well.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab is likely to call for early elections on Monday.
kbd/rt (Reuters, dpa)
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