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US Congress Says Hezbollah Stokes Sectarian Violence, Supports Corruption within Lebanon

US Congress Says Hezbollah Stokes Sectarian Violence, Supports Corruption within Lebanon

Saturday, 23 October, 2021 - 06:15
A Hezbollah flag and a poster depicting Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah are pictured along a street, near Sidon, Lebanon July 7, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo

The US Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Thursday expressing solidarity with the Lebanese people and the continued efforts to form a secure, independent, and democratic Lebanon.

Backed by a number of US lawmakers, the resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The lawmakers stressed that security, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Lebanon is in the interest of the United States and its allies in the region.

They underlined the US robust assistance for Lebanon, including training and equipment provided for the Lebanese Armed Forces, which it described as the sole institution entrusted with the defense of the sovereignty of Lebanon.

The bill accused Iran of undermining Lebanon’s sovereignty and its history as a US partner and democratic actor in the Middle East.

“Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, stokes sectarian violence, destabilizes the Lebanese economy, and supports corruption and violence within Lebanon and seeks to destroy the pursuit of peace throughout the region,” the lawmakers said.

Regarding the 2020 Beirut port explosion, the lawmakers said that the US government has longstanding concerns about Hezbollah’s use of and influence over the Beirut Port as a transit and storage point for its terrorist enterprise.

They further called on the Lebanese government to address the root causes of instability and mismanagement that allowed the tragic August 4 blast to take place, including by responding to calls for accountability and reform by the people of Lebanon.

“The Government of Lebanon should conduct a credible, impartial, and transparent investigation into the cause of, and responsibility for, the August 4 explosions, and include impartial international experts as part of the investigation team,” they said.

The lawmakers backed the US assistance delivered directly to the Lebanese people through properly vetted channels, organizations, and individuals, without risk of diversion to terrorist groups.

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