POLICY Statement

October 5, 2020: ATFL Praises House Foreign Affairs Committee for Resolution Supporting US-Lebanon Ties 

October 05, 2020

Washington, DC, October 5, 2020 (ATFL) - In an effort led by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), and co-sponsored by Reps. Donna Shalala (D-FL), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Garrett Graves (R-LA), the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed H.Res.1077, a bipartisan resolution [that] “expresses the sense of Congress for the support of the ongoing US – Lebanon relationship. Specifically, the resolution supports US goals for combatting government corruption, executing needed structural reforms, and the important role of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The resolution opposes the growing influence and role of Hezbollah in Lebanon, particularly as the country works to respond and recover from the August 4th explosion.”
ATFL President Ed Gabriel remarked that “With the continuing economic and political crisis in Lebanon, compounded by the re-emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic after the disastrous explosions at the Port of Beirut, this resolution means a great deal to the Lebanese people who have historically counted on the US as one of their closest friends. We want to express our thanks to Congressman LaHood and the co-signers for making clear how important the relationship continues to be. We urge the full House of Representatives to approve this Resolution during the lame duck session in December.”
As Rep. LaHood remarked in his press release, “Now more than ever, American support for the Lebanese people is vital. My resolution reaffirms our country’s commitment to the people of Lebanon and to peace in the region. A strong, independent, and sovereign Lebanon can help provide stability in the Middle East, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to support a productive and sustainable U.S.-Lebanon relationship.”  
Specifically, the Resolution expresses concern for the people of Lebanon and the need to continue support for humanitarian assistance from the US and the international community. It reaffirms support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as the key institution for preventing Hezbollah from gaining greater influence in the country. It also calls for an unobstructed role for the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon in maintaining security along the Israel-Lebanon boundary, and states its strong concern that the government must take actions to combat corruption, restore public services, and “expresses support for the continuation of democracy and democratic ideals in Lebanon.”

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