French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beirut Monday for his second visit since a deadly explosion on August 4 shook the nation and fueled a drive for political change.
Macron, who first flew to Beirut only two days after the blast, arrived at 9 pm (1800 GMT) for a two-day visit that will include a ceremony marking the centenary of Greater Lebanon.
He was welcomed at the airport by President Michel Aoun and an official Lebanese delegation.
In an Arabic-language tweet posted as Macron’s plane touched down in Beirut, the French leader said: “I tell the Lebanese that they are like brothers to the French. Here I am returning to Beirut to demonstrate the developments regarding the urgent aid and to work together on preparing the appropriate circumstances for reconstruction and stability.”
Speaking to reporters, Macron called for the swift formation of a government to lead crisis-hit Lebanon, following the designation of a new prime minister.
He said a new line-up should be agreed “as soon as possible” to rescue the country, which is reeling from the deadly August 4 port explosion, an economic collapse and the coronavirus pandemic.