The day after the terrible explosions which plunged Beirut into mourning, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs spoke this morning to his counterpart, Mr Charbel Wehbe.
M. Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated to him his deep shock and sorrow in the face of this tragedy. It is in times of ordeal and suffering that one recognizes one’s friends, and in this new ordeal France stands by Lebanese people, as it always has done and always will do. The Minister reiterated his condolences to the victims’ families and wished the many injured people a swift recovery.
The Minister signalled France’s full mobilization to lend assistance to Lebanon, at the Lebanese Government’s request. As from today, French assistance is being sent and will arrive in Beirut in the afternoon on several planes, including two French armed forces military planes, carrying a sécurité civile [emergency services] detachment, emergency medical staff and a mobile medical unit, all made available by the Interior Ministry and allowing 500 injured people to be cared for. Lebanon and Lebanese people know they can count on France at this difficult time./.