Sending Office: Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Sent By:
Nicholas.Kazvini-Gore@mail.house.gov

Cosponsor H.Res. 252–Bipartisan House Resolution in Support of US – Lebanon Relationship

Current Cosponsors: Lahood, Kaptur, Lee (LA), Fortenberry, McGovern, Lofgren, Pallone, Weber, Clay, Hultgren, Estes, GutierrezKhanna, Trott, Grothman, Moolenaar, EshooRush,
Issa, Pittenger, Duffy, Turner

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in cosponsoring H.Res.252Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria and supporting the establishment of safe areas
in Syria
, a House Resolution recognizing the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria. Lebanon has faced tremendous hardship in accepting a refugee population of more than 1.5 million, totaling over one third of their
population, as the Syrian conflict continues to devastate the region. Despite this, Lebanon has not only taken in these refugees during a time of political uncertainty, but has accomplished a transition to a new government through a democratic election, protected
the multi-party system, and worked to maintain a fragile infrastructure system to support the growing population.

The United States has a history of supporting Lebanon as a democratic ally in the region and continues to provide assistance and supplies for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). The Lebanese government and the LAF have been valuable partners in the fight against
ISIS and other extremist groups while continuing to maintain a democracy within their own borders. Now, we must recognize the challenges that still remain and formally illustrate our acknowledgment of the support that Lebanon has provided the United States
and the international community by working to protect the influx of refugees and end the violence in Syria.

In addition, this Resolution recognizes the value and importance of secure, dignified, and sustainable areas in Syria that will help resettle displaced refugees back to their homeland, a policy that has been proposed and supported by the Trump Administration
and stakeholders in the international community. Given the current political situation in Lebanon, it remains critical that the US recognize the continued value of a safe, stable, and democratic Lebanon.

Similar legislation was introduced last Congress with 21 bipartisan cosponsors. The Resolution is supported by the American Task Force for Lebanon, the Lebanese Information Center, and In Defense of Christians. If you would like to sign on, or have any additional
questions, please contact Mary Ellen Richardson (maryellen.richardson@mail.house.gov) in Congressman LaHood’s office or Nick Kazvini-Gore (nicholas.kazvini-gore@mail.house.gov)
in Congresswoman Kaptur’s office.

Sincerely,

Darin LaHood                 Marcy Kaptur

Member of Congress      Member of Congress 

Resolution Text: 

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria and supporting the establishment of safe zones in Syria.

Whereas the security and stability of Lebanon, a pluralistic democracy in the Middle East, is in the interest of the United States and its allies in the region;

Whereas over the past 10 years, the United States has provided robust assistance to Lebanon, including training and equipment for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF);

Whereas the integrity and effectiveness of the LAF in its struggle against the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and affiliates advances a vital United States national security interest;

Whereas the conflict in Syria poses a significant threat to stability in Lebanon as a result of violent attacks against Lebanese citizens perpetrated by combatants active in Syria and a massive influx of refugees fleeing the conflict area;

Whereas the people of Lebanon have shown great willingness in receiving more than 1,500,000 refugees from Syria, even as Lebanon struggles to accommodate a refugee population equal to one-quarter of its native population;

Whereas Lebanon is hosting more refugees proportionally than any country in the world;

Whereas the refugee crisis has further depressed the economy of Lebanon, which has a national debt of approximately 140 percent of the gross domestic product and economic growth rates lower than potential;

Whereas the LAF has been called into direct conflict with ISIS after attacks carried out in Lebanon;

Whereas the unique political constitution of Lebanon hinges on the distinct demographic and social equilibrium of the country;

Whereas the constitution of Lebanon is further undermined by undue foreign influence, particularly by the Islamic Republic of Iran through its terrorist proxy Hezbollah;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) calls for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon and stresses the importance of full control over Lebanon by the Government of Lebanon;

Whereas Hezbollah continues to violate Resolution 1701, including by replenishing its stock of rockets and missiles in South Lebanon;

Whereas the prolongation of the conflict in Syria has the potential to upset the precarious social and political balance in Lebanon;

Whereas ending the conflict in Syria is in the national security and humanitarian interests of the United States;

Whereas 11,000,000 Syrians have fled their homes since the war there started in 2011, with 5,000,000 Syrian refugees in the region and a roughly equivalent number internally displaced persons in the country; and

Whereas Syrians will continue to be displaced unless they are protected from the ongoing violence: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes the importance of United States and its international assistance to the people of Lebanon in order to build the capacity for Lebanon to provide services and security for Lebanese citizens, particularly to curb the influence of Hezbollah;

(2) encourages continued coordination between the Secretary of State, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and humanitarian organizations to ensure refugees from the conflict in Syria, including those in Lebanon, are supported in ways as to
mitigate any potentially destabilizing effects on their host countries;

(3) supports the establishment of secure, dignified, and sustainable safe zones in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced from their homeland can await firm settlement, such as repatriation or potential third-country resettlement;

(4) recognizes the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as the sole institution entrusted with the defense of the sovereignty of Lebanon and supports strengthening United States partnerships with the LAF, particularly through the global coalition to defeat the terrorist
group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS);

(5) supports the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006); and

(6) recognizes that it is in the interests of the United States to support negotiations to end the conflict in Syria, which would allow for the eventual return of the millions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries around the
world back to Syria.    

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence

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