| 4 December 2021, Saturday |

Congress’ new resolution bill: Hezbollah incites sectarianism and promotes corruption

The US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee approved a new resolution bill stipulating the US’s solidarity with the Lebanese people after Beirut Port Blast on August 4, as well as support for ongoing efforts to establish a “secure, independent, and democratic” country.

“Lebanon’s stability, pluralism, security, sovereignty, and independence are in the interest of the United States and its friends in the region,” according to a bill resolution proposed by a group of 20 Democratic and Republican deputies.

The deputies emphasize the US support for a “independent and impartial” Lebanese army in the resolution, citing the long-standing collaboration between the American and Lebanese Armies, and believe the army to be a critical component in ensuring Lebanon’s security and stability: “We regard the Lebanese army to be the only institution entrusted with safeguarding Lebanon’s sovereignty, and we welcome the American alliance with it in combating terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, ISIS, and al-Qaeda in Lebanon.”

The paper also accuses Hezbollah of hindering the government’s mandate, “which has considerably contributed to the propagation of corruption and mismanagement by the Lebanese parties,” and warns that such practices have brought Lebanon to the brink of economic collapse.

The lawmakers accused Iran of attempting to undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty and history as a US ally, and role as a democratic player in the Middle East, while also pointing to Hezbollah’s violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, inciting sectarian strife, destabilizing the Lebanese economy, and supporting corruption and violence among Lebanese, in addition to urging the Lebanese government and army to work together to carry out Security Council decisions on Lebanon.

The project sheds light on the Beirut port explosion, referring to the US fears before the explosion of “Hezbollah’s influence in the port of Beirut,” which led to its use of the port “as a transit and storage point for its terrorist activities.”

The American Members of Parliament called on the Lebanese government to “conduct a transparent and impartial investigation to look into the causes of the explosion and those responsible for it.” They also urged it to “advance the interests of the Lebanese people by eliminating corruption in the government, implementing basic reforms and measures against corruption, and working with international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to implement the necessary reforms to revive the economy.”

The resolution bill applauds the United States’ efforts to provide emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon in collaboration with international partners, and emphasizes the importance of delivering this aid directly to the Lebanese people through  institutions and individuals whose backgrounds have been verified to avoid falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.

After the committee approves the aforementioned bill resolution, it will be referred to the House of Representatives for consideration. Although it is not legally obligatory, the two parties’ unanimous acceptance sends a clear statement about the United States’ unified position on the direction of events in Lebanon.