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US Lawmakers Call for Formation of Lebanese Govt Free of Iranian Interference

US Lawmakers Call for Formation of Lebanese Govt Free of Iranian Interference

Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 06:15
The Gesture, a 25-meter sculpture by Lebanese architect Nadim Karam to commemorate victims of last year’s Beirut blast, is seen at the capital’s port in Lebanon, July 30, 2021. (Reuters)

Ten US representatives from the Republican and Democratic parties prepared a bill calling for the formation of a Lebanese government that is “accountable” and “free” from the interference of Iran and Hezbollah and works to “eradicate endemic corruption” in the country.

US Reps. Darin LaHood and Darrell Issa, along with eight other representatives, introduced a bipartisan resolution to express Congress’ support of the ongoing US-Lebanon relationship and the Lebanese people. LaHood is the co-chair of the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus.

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the tragic blast in Beirut that further destabilized the country and region, American support for the Lebanese people and the Lebanese Armed Forces is critical,” said LaHood.

“My resolution reaffirms United States’ 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 US-Lebanon relationship,” he added.

The resolution supports the ongoing efforts and need for humanitarian assistance for the Lebanese people, the fight against corruption and the implementation of needed structural reforms. It also supports “the important role of the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

“As we near the one-year anniversary of the tragic blast in the Port of Beirut, the resolution expresses ongoing support for the Lebanese people and opposes the growing influence and role of Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the US representatives underlined.

They also stressed the importance of forming a “credible, transparent, and accountable” government, “free from the interference of Iran and Hezbollah.”

The resolution calls on the Lebanese government to prioritize the interests of the Lebanese people by implementing structural reforms and combating corruption, and to work with international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to carry out the necessary reforms to stabilize the economy.

They lawmakers stressed that Iran “undermines Lebanon’s sovereignty and history as a partner of the United States and a democratic actor in the Middle East.” They accused Hezbollah of being “Iran’s terrorist proxy, violating Security Council Resolution 1701, fueling sectarian violence [...] and supporting corruption and violence.”

Issa said: “The country of my grandparents is on the verge of becoming a failed state, and malign actors are circling like vultures.”

“Working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will never stop my advocacy for our bilateral relationship, a corruption-free government, and the restoration of Lebanon as an arbiter of peace in the region.”

“It is manifestly unjust that while they are successful in every corner of the world, the one place the Lebanese people are not able to be successful is their very own country. This must change.”

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