Renewed calls for 'fair and transparent' probe into Beirut blast
The European Union, Norway, and Switzerland urge Lebanese stakeholders to allow a "fair and transparent" investigation into the Beirut port blast.
The European Union, Norway, and Switzerland urged Lebanese stakeholders, on Friday, to allow a "fair and transparent" investigation into the Beirut port blast and to desist from "all acts of interference."
In a joint statement, the EU member states and the Swiss and Norwegian missions voiced grave concern about the current developments in Lebanon, which is suffering from a severe economic crisis since 2019.
The statement also called on the Lebanese parliament to urgently elect a President "who will unite the Lebanese people in the national interest, as a first step to restore the ability of the Lebanese state institutions to make decisions, both on the administrative and political level."
This is happening just two weeks after Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon warned that the country is witnessing a divide within the judicial body, against the backdrop of the crisis between the country’s public prosecutor and the investigator assigned to the Beirut port explosion, which may have critical consequences.
On August 4, 2020, an explosion at Beirut's port shook the capital, killing more than 200 people, injuring about 6,500 others, and displacing thousands.
The Lebanese authorities attributed the explosion to the storage of huge quantities of highly explosive ammonium nitrate for years in one of the wards inside the port, without precautionary measures.
Investigations indicate that Lebanese officials, at the political, security, and judicial levels, were aware of the dangers of storing this material, without taking action. However, the faltering judicial investigations did not determine those responsible for the explosion, due to political differences over the file.
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