Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (12 August) prior to his departure for Beirut:
I will gain a first-hand insight into the situation and the impact of the explosion in Beirut and convey our condolences and support to the victims and their families today. At the weekend, we pledged 20 million euro as a first tranche to alleviate the worst of the hardship. We want to get this aid to Beirut quickly and directly to the people, via the United Nations and experienced aid organisations. I will be speaking with the organisations on the ground to this end today.
I will hold discussions with President Michel Aoun and civil society representatives on the form that Lebanon’s political and social future will take. The country now needs a dynamic new start as well as far-reaching economic reform. This is the only way for Lebanon to be able to win over its young people for a bright future and for the necessary trust to be built. Germany will be proactive in supporting this process. I will also underscore this fact during my visit.
At the Federal Foreign Office, the loss of our colleague is a severe blow for all of us, but especially for the people in her immediate environment. Other staff members have been injured and many have lost their homes. That is why the meeting with our colleagues at the Embassy today is particularly close to my heart.