Beirut explosion: Canadian foreign minister visits Lebanon, offers support for blast investigation

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  • Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne offered to join Lebanon’s investigation into the Beirut port explosion on condition that it is credible and transparent, during his official visit to Lebanon on Thursday.

    Champagne said after meeting Lebanese President Michel Aoun that Ottawa was ready to assist, under conditions that would be defined.

    Champagne, like other Western officials, said Lebanon must form a government that can implement long-demanded reforms to unlock foreign financial assistance.

    “I spoke with the President of Lebanon this morning, I said that the international assistance needs to be coupled with substantive reforms and impunity needs to stop,” he added as he visited an aid distribution centre run by the World Food Programme.

    Lebanese President Michel Aoun initially promised a swift investigation into why highly explosive material stored unsafely for years detonated on August 4, killing at least 180 people and injuring some 6,000. But he later said the process would take time.

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    In This Story: Lebanon

    Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East.

    The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Its capital is Beirut.

    Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).

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