Deputy FM in Beirut: Greece Will Do Whatever It Can to Help Lebanon

BEIRUT. Greece will do whatever it can to help Lebanon, Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis told Greek TV station ANT1 in Beirut, where he accompanied a Special Disaster force (EMAK) unit on Wednesday morning following the devastating blast that flattened the port.

The unit is in Lebanon by order of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

"Beirut is a bombed landscape, the picture is one of catastrophe," Fragogiannis said, noting that 100,000 were left homeless, a figure he was told at meetings with Lebanese Vice President and Defense Minister Zeina Adra Akar and Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbi.

He also quoted diplomatic sources which said there were five injured Greek nationals as of this point and two were in serious condition, while a Greek woman had died in the blast. Asked if there would be repatriation of Greeks, he said "we are observing the situation and will do whatever is necessary."

The EMAK unit includes 13 rescue staff, specially trained dogs and required equipment, and was the first to arrive in Beirut on a C130 military plane, to express the Greek prime minister's and the foreign minister's solidarity, as well as that of the Greek people.

"They will need more help – the situation is dramatic – they will need medical equipment, hospital care and help from the EU," the minister said.

He noted that according to information from the meetings he had, four of the hospitals in the area are destroyed, and those remaining in operation cannot handle the number of the injured.

The situation in Lebanon was already difficult before the blast, he said, and Greece "must stand by Lebanon to prevent developments that could get out of control in the region."


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