On the first anniversary of the catastrophic port explosion in Beirut, the Socialists and Democrats call on Lebanese authorities to ensure victims’ quest for truth and justice. More than 217 people were killed, and over 7.000 injured, as 2.750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s port on 4 August 2020. Around 300.000 people were displaced, whereas the explosion brought about widespread destruction and devastation.
In early September, the S&Ds’ will organise a mission to Beirut to discuss with National authorities, NGOs and civil society on how to swiftly facilitate the formation of a new government; the recovery of the economy; and the help needed for the Lebanese population.
Pedro Marques, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs, said: “One year after the horrific blast in the port of Beirut, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament want to reiterate their mourning for all the casualties, and our full and relentless commitment to help the Lebanese people, not only to ensure a just and rapid investigation, but also to finally have the political stability to relaunch the economy of the country.
“The dire economic and social situation in Lebanon can only be overcome through a democratic political solution.
“In this regard, bold and concrete steps forward are urgently needed. The dramatic images coming from Lebanon should convince the political factions to put aside their own interests and instead work together to swiftly form a new government. No delays or excuses can be further accepted.
“The EU is ready to facilitate this process.
“We expect that the new designated Prime Minister will soon form a government capable of implementing the needed reforms to save the country from the current crisis.”
Isabel Santos, chair of the delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and S&D MEP, added: “One year after the Beirut blast tragedy, the country is still in an economic, social and political crisis with dire consequences for the Lebanese people.”
“The only way forward to honour the victims and write a new brighter page for Lebanon is by carrying out a thorough investigation, to be conducted in an expedite and impartial manner, about the causes and the responsibilities of the Beirut blast.”Isabel Santos MEP
“Any further delay on the investigation will only increase mistrust and resentment among Lebanese citizens towards National Institutions and democracy. We need to be very clear on this: political and judicial accountability must be ensured.”
“This comes across as a precondition to achieve a quick stabilisation of the political landscape which will allow the country to move on from this tragedy.”
“The European Union, International partners and us, the Socialists and Democrats, are ready and willing to help Lebanon turn the page by providing the needed financial, humanitarian and political support.”
“This cannot happen though without concrete progress on the forming of a new government and the implementation of long-awaited reforms.”