Lebanon needs a "strong reboot" and far-reaching economic reforms to rebuild trust with its citizens, Germany's foreign minister said ahead of his trip Wednesday to Beirut, following last week's massive explosion at the city's port that killed at least 171 people and wounded thousands.
Heiko Maas said he was traveling to the Lebanese capital to "find out about the situation and consequences of the explosion and express our condolences and support." He landed a few hours later in Beirut and was scheduled to tour the destroyed port and meet with members of local NGOs, as well as the country's president.
Germany has pledged 20 million euros (about 23 million dollars) in immediate help after the catastrophic Aug. 4 explosion that tore through the Lebanese capital with such intensity that it created a tremor felt in neighboring Cyprus. Thousands of buildings in the heart of the Beirut were destroyed and many more left homeless.