Canadian FM Says The Lebanese Govt Must Respond to Public Anger by Fighting Corruption

Published August 27th, 2020 - 09:43 GMT
Canadian foreign affairs minister Francois-Philippe Champagne pictured March 2020. (AFP/File)
Canadian foreign affairs minister Francois-Philippe Champagne pictured March 2020. (AFP/File)
Francois-Philippe Champagne has landed in Lebanon and had talks with Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.

Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Thursday Lebanese leaders should respond proactively to popular anger by enacting serious reforms against corruption.

"Corruption must stop, the young people have spoken, the street has spoken, and their cry must be heard," Champagne, in Beirut on an official visit, told reporters after talks with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.

He also expressed solidarity with Lebanon and declared Canada's willingness to assist "in the long term" in reconstruction efforts following the port explosion that devastated the capital earlier this month.

He said the key solution begins with the formation of a new government that would work on reforms and adapt a transparent approach to governance. He stressed that such reforms were necessary before any international support could be expected.

Speaking of an investigation into the port blast, Champagne pushed for an international investigation that was "credible, complete and going to the bottom of things."

Canada has given $30 million in assistance to Lebanon since the port explosion, according to Champagne. He added that he and Aoun had also spoken about communication, reforming the law and the judiciary, as well as the education and energy sectors in Lebanon.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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