France's Parly confirms Macron plans trip to Lebanon Sept. 1

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron waves as he visits a devastated street of Beirut, Lebanon August 6, 2020. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS

BEIRUT (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron plans to return to Beirut on Sept. 1 to follow up on the reconstruction efforts after the catastrophic blast which destroyed parts of Beirut last week, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Friday.

Parly, speaking after a tour of the French helicopter-carrier Tonnerre which arrived earlier in the day in the devastated port of Beirut, also called on the Lebanese to form a government capable of taking “courageous decisions.”

She described the ship as a “floating city” which can provide all kind of medical and technical support, including a hospital, search and rescue equipment, construction materials and also transporting a shipment of flour.

The government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which has the backing of the Iran-aligned Hezbollah, resigned in the wake of the explosion.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Toby Chopra