US President Donald Trump is expected to join representatives from Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Saudi Arabia, the UN, the European Council and others for the donors’ conference, according to the Elysee Palace.
Protesters occupied the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of the Economy when they demanded the downfall of the ruling elite. The banking union, which protesters blame for the country̵
During a visit to Beirut on Thursday, Macron told a crowd that he would propose a “new political pact” to Lebanon’s embedded political class and promised to ensure that support was not lost on corruption.
“This support, I guarantee it, will not fall into corrupt hands. I will talk to all political forces to ask for a new pact,” Macron said, according to an assistant at the Elysee Palace. “I am here today to propose a new political pact. If they [the political forces] can not keep this pact, I will take my responsibility. “
The international community has already sent emergency physicians and food supplies to the country and promised financial support.
Hang the gallows
Saturday’s demonstrations, called “Judgment Day” protests, extended to surrounding neighborhoods and the city’s main highway, in the largest outflow of public discontent since a nationwide uprising in October last year.
Parts of the demonstrations remained peaceful while other parts were predominantly filled with angry protesters who met the security forces. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
The security forces’ response did not seem to disperse many of the angry protesters. A woman who fell when she tripped over people driving in her direction said, “They bombed our city. I’m coming back in.” Her face wet with tears, she picked up her belongings, like some stones, and went back into the crowd.
“You survive an explosion in Beirut just to get tear gas,” said a man in his 20s as he held an onion to his mouth to mitigate the effects of the gas.
Some protesters erected hollow hangers, an important symbol of the demonstrations. Efforts by prominent political leaders, including former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, were hung from the lights, in some of the clearest signs of public outrage the country has seen in years.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised on Saturday to hold early elections when his beleagured government faces calls for his resignation. He said he would remain in government for two months until major parties can reach an agreement.
Diab also addressed the country’s ongoing political and economic crisis in a televised speech. “We need a national solution. We took over the country in an exceptional time … what happened was due to corruption and mismanagement,” he said.
Lebanon’s 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 not being able to meet their ambitions. Change remained elusive, and because reality did not match the ambitions, and after the horrors of the Beirut disaster, I am submitting my resignation from the government,” Abdel Samad said in a statement. the state-run National News Agency (NNA).
Abdel Samad was part of a new cabinet appointed in January after the previous government resigned after mass protests last year.
Security officials face questions
Lebanese judge Ghassan El-Khoury will resume hearings with security chiefs on Monday to investigate technical information about the circumstances of the explosion, the NNA reported on Sunday.
The military police continue to interrogate security officials in the port of Beirut as part of the investigations into the explosion, under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office, according to NNA.
Authorities have detained 16 people in connection with the blast, including Lebanese customs director general Badri Daher, Beirut port chief Hasan Kraytem and former customs chief Chafic Merei.
CNN’s Ben Wedeman and Ghazi Balkiz reported from Beirut and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Tamara Qiblawi, Mostafa Salem, Ali Younis, Jomana Karadsheh, Hamdi Alkhshali, Nada AlTaher and Pierre Bairin contributed to this report, as did journalist Luna Safwan.