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Sources: US Congress Prepares Bill to Halt Assistance to Lebanon

Sources: US Congress Prepares Bill to Halt Assistance to Lebanon

Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 - 06:30
Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend a memorial in Tefahta village, south Lebanon, on Feb. 13, 2016. AP

The US Congress prepares to discuss a bill aimed at prohibiting US assistance to the Lebanese government if Hezbollah continues to control or influence decision-making in Lebanon.

“It is not easy to approve this bill because Congress members are not united and because it requires several signatures before becoming a bill,” sources at the Lebanese Embassy in Washington told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday.

In order to become a bill, it should first be approved by the Committee on Foreign Relations and later pass the Senate and House before making its way to President Donald Trump's office for his signature.

“Normally, the US administration rejects bills that could produce divisions among the Lebanese, but that does not mean it supports Hezbollah’s arms,” the embassy sources said.

They revealed that US non-military assistance to Lebanon remains shy and is directed at the medical and educational sectors.

“If such a bill is approved, which is highly unlikely, it would not be the first of its kind,” the sources said.

They added that similar bills were approved by the US administration, including the listing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and the prohibition of its members to open bank accounts in dollars.

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