Beirut: Saturday, a group of US congressmen held meetings with the top leaders of Lebanon during its fact-finding mission to the Middle Eastern nation; roiled by an unprecedented economic crisis.
The delegation reports to President Joe Biden and the Congress and proposes ways to help Lebanon. The country’s new government has struggled to kick off reforms and begin negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
The visiting US team includes Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican and Republican Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois, and Edward Gabriel, head of the Washington-based American Task Force for Lebanon.
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Lebanon’s crisis, rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement, has caused the international community to say it will only help the tiny nation once; it implements broad reforms and shackles widespread corruption.
Lebanon’s economic meltdown started in late 2019; and has worsened due to the political bickering between rival political groups who have failed to start reforms despite the economic crisis; having thrown three-quarters of the country’s 6 million people, including a million Syrian refugees, into poverty.