POLICY Statement

July 29, 2021: ATFL Statement on H.Res. 569

July 29, 2021

Observing the August 4 Beirut Port Explosions

Washington, DC, July 29, 2021 (ATFL) - The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese heritage, commends the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus and its chairs, Representatives Darin LaHood of Illinois, Charlie Crist of Florida, Darrell Issa of California and Debbie Dingell of Michigan and their fellow members for introducing on Wednesday, July 28, H.Res. 569, “Expressing continued solidarity with the Lebanese people after the devastating explosions at the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, and the continued efforts to form a stable, independent, and democratic Lebanon.” 

This horrific event deeply scarred Lebanese society, causing death and devastation, and raising questions about the conditions that led to this blast that have yet to be answered. The Resolution emphasizes the deep ties and interests between the two countries, including US economic aid focused on the people and the American universities in Lebanon; and points out the importance of US military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in order to enable them to carry out their mission to maintain stability and protect the country’s sovereignty despite being challenged by Hezbollah’s military capacity.

ATFL is pleased by the bipartisan support for the Resolution and will continue to work diligently with Democratic and Republican members to build additional support for it. As ATFL President Ambassador Ed Gabriel remarked, “This resolution sends a very strong message to the Lebanese people that their survival and that of Lebanon are in the interests of the United States. As importantly, it sends a clear message to Lebanon’s government that members of Congress are concerned with its inability to conduct a transparent and credible investigation of the explosions and ‘calls on the Government of Lebanon to conduct a credible, impartial, and transparent investigation into the cause of, and responsibility for, the August 4 explosions, and include impartial international experts as part of the investigation team.’”

Lebanon is in the process of attempting to form yet another government after nine months of failing to do so, and, as the Resolution notes, “the people of Lebanon across the political spectrum have renewed demands for a meaningful change in Lebanon’s political leadership, government accountability, and transparency.” ATFL hopes that this Resolution will contribute to the debate about the future of Lebanon and how best to secure its sovereignty and independence. 

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