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Beirut explosion: US President Donald Trump to join international aid conference call for Lebanon on Sunday

Trump and Macron spoke by phone and "expressed their deep sadness over the loss of life and devastation in Beirut," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

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Beirut explosion: US President Donald Trump to join international aid conference call for Lebanon on Sunday
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In the wake of a massive blast at Beirut port that killed 154 people and injured nearly 4,000, US President Donald Trump has said  that he will join a conference call with Lebanon`s president and other world leaders on Sunday to discuss aid to Lebanon.

"We will be having a conference call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various other parts of the world. Everyone wants to help!" Trump tweeted.

Trump and Macron spoke by phone and "expressed their deep sadness over the loss of life and devastation in Beirut," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

Trump also said that three large US aircraft were on their way to Lebanon to deliver supplies and personnel.  

Senior Trump administration officials have held meetings to mull over assistance measures to the devastated city. Moreover, the US Agency for International Development on Friday said it would provide more than $15 million in assistance, including food aid for 50,000 people for three months.

France and other countries too have immediately provided assistance to Lebanon including doctors, food, health equipments.

The US investigative agencies are not ruling out the possibility that the blast could beendeliberately triggered. 

According to the Lebanese authorities, the blast was caused by improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. The potential explosive had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

President Michel Aoun said the government was "determined to investigate and expose what happened as soon as possible, to hold the responsible and the negligent accountable, and to sanction them with the most severe punishment."

The blast was so powerful that it rattled windows on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away, reports said. 

The blast was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections.

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