Following yesterday’s devastating explosions in Beirut, the Secretary General of the European People’s Party, Antonio López-Istúriz, has made the following statement:

“I am deeply shocked and saddened by yesterday’s unspeakable tragedy in Beirut and send my deepest condolences to the people of Lebanon and the families of the victims.

The consequences of the catastrophe will be worsened by the challenges that Lebanon was already struggling to overcome: the current Coronavirus pandemic, the dire economic situation, the stranglehold which Hezbollah holds over the country and a lack of necessary reforms.

I was devastated to learn that Nazar Najarian, Secretary General of EPP partner Kataeb, was among the victims.  Mr Najarian was always a reliable partner for EPP in the region. He had an unwavering commitment to Lebanon, particularly its youth and their potential to take the country in a new direction.  My thoughts also include EPP’s other Lebanese partner, the Lebanese Forces, and all our friends in Lebanon in coming to terms with the losses, injuries and damages incurred.

I call on EPP leaders across member states, in the EU institutions and the entire EPP family to show solidarity to Lebanon. We must offer the urgently needed social and humanitarian support, particularly with civil society and the health sector to begin the path to recovery. A full and transparent investigation is also needed to understand the cause of such a tragedy.

We must not allow others make the situation and deepening security crisis worse and increase the suffering of the Lebanese people” he concluded.