BEIRUT: French President Emmanuel Macron stood among the ruins of Beirut’s shattered port yesterday and issued a harsh warning to Lebanese political leaders, saying that aid would not be delivered to “corrupt hands.”
“Lebanon needs political change,” the French leader said during his one-day visit on Thursday, adding that he is “not here to support the regime or the government.”
Macron set the tone for his visit on his arrival at Beirut airport, saying that he would meet with Lebanese officials “only as a matter of courtesy” and adding that “Lebanon’s crisis is a moral and political one.”
Later he was mobbed by large crowds while touring the shattered streets near Beirut port, listening to the tearful complaints of people left homeless by the massive explosion two days ago that killed more than 150 people and injured more than 5,000.
People chanted and applauded as one woman cried in French: “Help us, Mr. President.”
A few young men said: “The people want to topple the regime,” while others said: “Down with Hezbollah.”