POLICY
STATEMENTS

The ATFL publishes policy statements regarding US-Lebanon relations on issues that affect our shared interests in the stability, security, and development of Lebanon and the region.

ATFL Applauds Members of Congress for Condemning the Obstruction of Democratic Processes in Lebanon

Washington, DC, January 17th, 2023, the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese descent, applauds the bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus for their condemnation of the obstruction of democratic processes in Lebanon as well as the continued presidential vacancy and lack of any meaningful investigation into the August 2020 Port explosion. 

On January 13th, 2023, US Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Darin LaHood (R-IL) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen urging them to utilize, “additional diplomatic tools to hold responsible those who are continuing to obstruct democratic processes in Lebanon, [making clear] the expectations of the international community on Lebanon, including timely and representative Presidential elections by the Parliament to support the ongoing needs of the people of Lebanon.” 

The bipartisan Co-Chairs also drew particular attention to the lack of judicial independence in Lebanon and the urgent need for progress on the investigation into the August 2020 Port explosion, as demanded by the Lebanese people who are deserving of justice, which has been obstructed by the political leaders who continue to delay and evade accountability. 

“In the 78 days that have passed in vain without a new president, Lebanon’s political stalemate is causing severe, unnecessary pain on its own people,” said ATFL President and CEO Ed Gabriel. “ATFL continues to call for the rule of law, judicial independence, and due process in the Port of Beirut Explosion investigation. We call on the Lebanese parliament to carry out their solemn responsibilities by electing a reform-minded president who will support the needs of the Lebanese people.” 

 

The January 13th letter from Representatives Debbie Dingell, Darrell Issa, and Darin LaHood, Co-Chairs of the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, can be accessed here.For additional information contact info@atfl.org.

OP-EDS

ATFL Op-Eds are perspectives from ATFL leadership and guests on current events of importance to the US-Lebanon relationship.

Op-Eds by
ATFL President Edward Gabriel

Current President and CEO of ATFL, former US Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel has decades of experience throughout the Middle East.

US-Lebanon Relations: Setting a New International Framework for a More Responsive Government

The Middle East Institute and the American Task Force on Lebanon with the cooperation of the Lebanese International Financial Executives convened a group of experts on Lebanon who co-authored this policy brief.

US-Lebanon Relations: Setting a New International Framework for a More Responsive Government
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Thursday, January 19th, 2023
Co-Sponsor:

Lebanon is on a tragic trajectory, never before seen in its history. The next few months, with or without needed reforms, will shape its path for years to come. Lebanon’s failings can be attributed to endemic corruption by the political class and the “state within a state” impunity of Hezbollah. Lebanon’s leaders must take the necessary risks to reverse their country from falling into the abyss of an economic and political meltdown, but they will not be able to undertake this challenge alone.

The US must lead its friends in Europe and the Gulf to encourage political parties and leaders, who have previously failed to respond effectively to their people, to create a new framework for Lebanon to begin its recovery. The time is now ripe to build on the US-mediated maritime agreement by encouraging Lebanon to take steps on other achievable objectives that continue the momentum forward. The Lebanon Working Group proposes seven policy areas on which the US should focus its work with Lebanon.

Speakers

  • President and CEO of the American Task Force on Lebanon, Former US Ambassador to Morocco
  • President of the Middle East Institute
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs with Responsibility for the Levant and Syria Engagement
  • Legislative Director, Office of Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL)
  • Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Former US Ambassador to Lebanon
  • Vice President of Policy at the Middle East Institute
  • Senior Advisor, Executive Office and Middle East and North Africa Center at the US Institute of Peace

Past Reports