MEP Thierry Mariani
Paris, France 75355
October 9, 2023
Dear Mr. Mariani,
The World Council for the Cedars Revolution (WCCR) has learned that the leader of Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, has been invited by you to address a conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 17.
WCCR strenuously objects to the inclusion of Mr. Bassil. As Mr. Bassil has served as a top advisor to his father-in-law, former Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, he must be seen as complicit with that government’s accommodation of the Iran-backed terrorist group, Hezbollah, which was allowed to expand, infiltrate the military and government, and to receive armaments from Iran shipped through Syria. Hezbollah has stationed Iran-supplied rockets and mortars along the south Lebanese border with Israel and are currently coordinating with the horrendous attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians.
Hezbollah has a long and violent history within Lebanon as well. In addition to being responsible for the Beirut Port explosion (which the Aoun government refused to prosecute), Hezbollah has engaged in murder and kidnapping of Christians within Lebanon and is currently engaged in provoking an Israeli response to its mortar attacks on Israel’s northern territory in solidarity with the Hamas brethren, putting all the Christians of Southern Lebanon at risk of being suddenly engulfed in a war the majority of Lebanese emphatically do not want.
Due to Mr. Bassil’s continuous support and cooperation with the terrorists of Hezbollah, and for “systemic corruption” as well, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Bassil under the Global Magnitsky Act in 2020.
In light of these facts, WCCR hopes that you will reconsider your invitation to Mr. Bassil. He should not be speaking for Lebanon or the issue of Syrian refugees or any other issue.
Tom Harb, WCCR General Secretary
John Hajjar, WCCR National Director