Beirut explosion: US State Department official to stress reform during Lebanon trip

David Hale, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the Department of State, talks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon January 14, 2019. (Reuters)

The US State Department said its No. 3 diplomat will head to Lebanon on Thursday and stress the ‘urgent need’ for Lebanon to embrace fundamental reform, in the aftermath of a devastating warehouse blast that killed 172 people and injured thousands.

In planned meetings with political leaders, civil society, and youth groups, Undersecretary for Political Affairs David Hale will also underscore America’s willingness to support any government that is “genuinely committed” to and acting upon such a reform agenda, the agency said in a statement.

The FBI will join also Lebanese and international investigators in a probe into the explosion, Hale added.

Hale, previously the US ambassador to Lebanon from 2013 to 2015, is one of two senior US officials that have traveled to Beirut following a deadly explosion at the city's port.

US Agency for International Development (USAID) acting administrator, John Barsa, arrived in Beirut on Sunday.

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Last Update: Thursday, 13 August 2020 KSA 17:35 - GMT 14:35
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