WorldMembers of the US Congress in Lebanon to discuss the economic crisis

Members of the US Congress in Lebanon to discuss the economic crisis

A group of US Congress members held meetings today, Saturday, with senior leaders of Lebanon, as part of a fact-finding mission to the Middle East country that is ravaged by an unprecedented economic crisis.

The delegates are scheduled to submit a report to US President Joe Biden and Congress, and suggest ways to help the Lebanese people.

The country’s new government, which has been in place since September, is struggling to start reforms and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

The US delegation includes Representative Daryl Issa, a Republican from California, Republican Representative Darren Lahoud from Illinois, and Edward Gabriel, head of the American Action Group for Lebanon based in Washington.

The three, who arrived on Friday and are scheduled to spend three days in Lebanon, met President Michel Aoun.

Gabriel told local Al-Jadeed TV that members of Congress are in Beirut “to see for themselves” what is going on in Lebanon, and that he hoped they would “bring up some new ideas” about ways the United States could help the Lebanese.

Later, the US delegation met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who thanked the US for standing by Lebanon and its continued support for the Lebanese army, according to Mikati’s office.

The roots of Lebanon’s crisis go back to decades of corruption and mismanagement. The international community has said it intends to help the small country once it implements broad reforms and tackles endemic corruption.

Lebanon’s economic meltdown began in late 2019 and was exacerbated by political wrangling between rival groups that failed to launch reforms despite the fact that the crisis threw three-quarters of the country’s population down.