PARIS — President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke over the phone Friday about working with other countries to send immediate aid to Lebanon, the White House and the Élysée said.
The two leaders “expressed their deep sadness over the loss of life and devastation in Beirut,” according to White House spokesman Judd Deere.
Rage against the Lebanese government spiked after the Beirut port explosion Tuesday that killed nearly 160 people and injured some 6,000.
A group of protesters including retired army officers have stormed the Foreign Ministry building in the capital Beirut as part of growing protests, according to the Associated Press.
Trump tweeted Friday: "Had a lengthy discussion this morning with President Macron of France concerning numerous subjects, but in particular the catastrophic event which took place in Beirut, Lebanon...
"..At 3pm this afternoon, spoke to President Aoun of Lebanon to inform him that 3 large aircraft are on the way, loaded up with Medical Supplies, Food and Water. Also, First Responders, Technicians, Doctors, and Nurses on the way...
"...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!"
France has already sent three planes filled with medical supplies and humanitarian teams. It wasn't immediately clear if Trump was referring to the same planes.
The White House said in a readout that Trump in his call with Aoun "vowed to continue United States support in providing critical emergency supplies to meet health and humanitarian needs during this difficult time."
In a statement released late Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. has pledged more than $17 million in initial disaster aid for Lebanon, which includes food assistance and medical supplies. "We join others in the call for a thorough and transparent investigation into the cause of this explosion," Pompeo said.
After landing in Beirut on Thursday, Macron announced that France would organize an international aid conference to raise funds for emergency relief.