Press Release: ATFL Commends the House Foreign Affairs Committee for Supporting the Lebanese People
Washington, DC, October 21, 2021 (ATFL) – The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese descent, commends the House Foreign Affairs Committee for approving 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 secure, independent, and democratic Lebanon.
On July 28, Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Co-Chair of the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, introduced H.Res. 569, a bipartisan resolution to express Congress’ support of the ongoing U.S.-Lebanon relationship and the Lebanese people. The resolution was approved on October 21 in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a key step before final consideration by the entire House of Representatives.
“The 18th District of Illinois and the greater Peoria community are home to a strong Lebanese community, one that I am proud to be a part of. I am pleased that the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed my resolution to support the U.S.-Lebanon relationship,” said Rep. LaHood. “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,” he added.
The resolution re-affirms support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and commends US assistance to the American University of Beirut and Lebanese American University, and other hospitals and institutions.
It calls on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to fully implement its mandate and de-escalate tensions at the Lebanon-Israel border and supports the demands of the Lebanese activists calling for political reform. The Resolution importantly asks the Government of Lebanon to rid itself of the corruption and negligence that led to the August 4, 2020 explosion and for a credible and impartial investigation into the Port of Beirut explosion.
“H. Res. 569 is an important reminder of good US-Lebanon bilateral relations at this crucial juncture,” said Ambassador Ed Gabriel (Ret.), President of ATFL. “Increasing support for the LAF is critical for providing stability within Lebanon and US counterterrorism efforts across the wider region. American universities promote American values and interests including democracy, tolerance, and rule of law throughout the region. Supporting these institutions makes a key contribution to a much-needed renewal in Lebanese society. Lastly, independence of the judiciary is vital, and the US must apply targeted pressure to ensure that the explosion can be properly investigated and those who are found to be responsible must be held accountable,” he added.
The American Task Force on Lebanon is 501(C)3 nonprofit organization of prominent Americans of Lebanese heritage, who educate for the strengthening of the historic U.S.-Lebanon relationship. The mission and objectives of ATFL shall always be in the best interest of the United States and will promote the national unity, independence, and prosperity of a democratic and multi-sectarian Lebanon.