An American message to Lebanon: reform or sanctions

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Jim Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a direct message to Lebanon’s leaders that they must make progress with the political process or face US sanctions.

If the United States can prioritize Lebanon now, it can avoid a decline that will only pay a heavy price later.

The National Interest indicated that the United States continues to play an important leadership role, not only to help Lebanon recover from this historic crisis, but to rebuild many sectors, to become a country with transparent political and financial leadership and a reform orientation. noticeable that there is an overwhelming consensus in the policy-making community (Washington, DC) reflected in the Senators’ letter and policy brief on which more than 20 leading experts on US-Lebanese policy worked, publicly indicating that a new international framework was needed to catalyze better governance in Lebanon, and the United States now needed such an effort to lead because Lebanon was on “the brink of collapse.”

Meet the needs
The priority for Lebanon’s elected leaders and political parties is to elect a president who is reformist, free from corruption, and committed to serving the needs of the people. This must be followed by timely and effective government formation. The United States must use all the tools at its disposal, as the Senate letter calls for, to pressure Lebanon’s leaders to elect a president and form a government that can usher in much-needed reforms.

She stated that the suffering of the Lebanese is a tragic result of the corruption of the financial and political elite, who profited from the “Ponzi” scheme that made the country’s currency worthless and a crisis in the banking sector unleashed

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s elected leaders have stalled the implementation of reforms stipulated in the IMF agreement at the staff level, which are needed to unlock IMF support to rehabilitate the country’s economy, the future of the United States and the international community. brought.

As a result of this crisis, 80% of Lebanon’s 6.5 million residents and refugees live below the poverty level, in addition to neglecting the country’s education and healthcare sectors at all levels.

To name a few, the largest university in Lebanon (the Lebanese University) does not have exam papers, and with Lebanon falling into failed state status, there is a high chance that the United States will continue in a protracted and increasingly difficult to enter. mission to protect US interests in the region, and confront encroachments.growth from Russia and Iran.

She noted that “electricity reform” is an area in which the United States can show leadership that has a tangible impact on millions of Lebanese. Currently, the Lebanese receive only about 1-2 hours of electricity per day due to corruption and inefficiency in the electricity sector. Without this essential source of power, economic stability will be impossible and the lives of the Lebanese will deteriorate.

Crisis solutions
The magazine indicated that the completion of the energy agreement in the Levant, which will involve the import of Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity, is promoted by the United States and Lebanon plays an equally important role as the Ministry of Energy a politically neutral should be appointed. electricity regulator and proposes a sustainable cost recovery program as a necessary condition for World Bank support for the project. This is all the more important because Iran approached Lebanon by offering a “gift” of fuel for Lebanese power plants to avoid complicated sanctions .

Support for the Lebanese Armed Forces remains one of the strongest pillars of bipartisan support for the United States in the Middle East. Given the depletion of soldiers’ salaries due to the country’s economic crisis, the one-time living support provided by the United States to military families in the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces in Lebanon is critical, and it comes with the United States. encourage allies to continue their support, and is seen as the continued support of the Lebanese Armed Forces that is necessary if Lebanon is to control its security and protect its territorial integrity against its enemies and the enemies of the United States .

The United States recently demonstrated its indispensable leadership in facilitating a maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel, thus averting the threat of another war, and the United States will need to show the same determination in leading the international community, especially its partners in Europe, in pressuring Lebanon’s elected leaders to choose a president who is willing. It is capable of undertaking the necessary reforms that meet Lebanon’s needs, and if the United States can prioritize Lebanon’s response now, it can avoid further deterioration, which will only result in paying a heavy price later.

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