POLICY Statement

June 26, 2021: ATFL Welcomes Joint US-France Action to Pressure Lebanese Officials to Act

June 26, 2021

Washington, DC, June 26, 2021 (ATFL) - The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization representing Americans of Lebanese descent, welcomes the June 25th announcement by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to jointly bring pressure on Lebanese leaders to take actions to relieve the country’s multiple crises.

In a joint press conference, Le Drian said, “We have decided to act together to put pressure on those responsible. We know who they are.” Blinken added, “We need to see real leadership in Beirut.”

A joint policy brief - authored by ATFL, the Middle East Institute, and 24 leading US-Lebanon policy experts - has called for strong coordinated efforts by the United States, France, and the International Support Group to take firm efforts in addressing Lebanon’s leadership to implement needed reforms, provide a strong social safety net for the Lebanese, and bring an end to its corrupt mismanagement.

Ed Gabriel, ATFL President noted, “This statement, and previous ones emphasizing the need for free and fair elections in 2022, provide a way forward for Lebanon’s survival as a sovereign state. We hope that the leadership finally recognizes their responsibilities for relieving the humanitarian and political crises that are now depriving the Lebanese of any hope for a decent future.”

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