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Shaheen, Murphy Statement on Crisis in Lebanon

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), both members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday made the following statement on the political and economic crisis in Lebanon, and the explosions that rocked Beirut:

“The blasts in Beirut exacerbate an already dangerous and fragile situation in Lebanon, and our hearts go out to the innocent civilians who were killed and injured. At a time when food and fuel shortages in the country are already becoming dire, we are very concerned that this explosion may have destroyed the capacity of the Beirut port to import essential commodities. The United States and international community should immediately mobilize aid to assist those affected by this tragedy,” said the Senators.

The Senators continued: “The Lebanese economy is collapsing, and the government has largely ignored the people’s demands for major reforms. Instead, while the Lebanese people suffer, Lebanon’s political elites are perpetuating decades of economic mismanagement, corruption and overspending which in turn prevents international aid from rescuing the country from economic collapse. It’s in the United States’ interest that Lebanon remains stable and we stop the country from spiraling into chaos, and we need reform-minded leaders to prevent that from happening. The Trump Administration needs to get off the sidelines and play a central role, with other partners, in providing emergency humanitarian assistance and helping to guide the governance and economic crisis to a conclusion, before the entire nation falls apart.”