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S. Con. Res. 74  (rfh) - Whereas, on January 26, 1987, the United States Department of State issued a prohibition on the use of United States passports in Lebanon, creating in effect a ban on travel to Lebanon by United States citizens; Whereas the ban on travel to Lebanon was instituted during a time of civil war, anarchy, and general lawlessness in Lebanon, when the safety and well- being of United States citizens were at particular risk as evidenced by the bombings of the United States Marine barracks and the United States Embassy in Beirut, in which a total of 258 United States citizens were killed, as well as by the taking of United States hostages by terrorists; Whereas the civil war in Lebanon ended in 1990 and the last United States hostage held in Lebanon was freed on December 2, 1991; Whereas the security situation in Lebanon has improved demonstrably since the end of the civil war; Whereas the United States returned its Ambassador to Lebanon on November 28, 1990, and the United States maintains an economic and military assistance program in Lebanon; Whereas it is estimated that more than 40,000 United States citizens traveled safely to Lebanon in 1993 either in defiance of the ban or under current United States regulations which permit the use of passports by dual Lebanese-United States nationals and in urgent humanitarian cases; Whereas the Government of Lebanon has made considerable progress in reasserting sovereignty and control over significant portions of Lebanon despite the fact that the Taif accords have yet to be fully implemented; Whereas the Lebanese Government has initiated a 10-year, $18,000,000,000 reconstruction effort, and in 1993 awarded more than 100 contracts worth $2,400,000,000 to business firms for development, reconstruction, and consulting projects; Whereas the ban on the use of United States passports in Lebanon creates a major impediment to United States firms that wish to bid for contracts in Lebanon; Whereas it is in the United States national interest for United States firms to participate in the reconstruction of Lebanon, as United States participation will bring economic benefit to the United States and help to create a stable and sound infrastructure in Lebanon; Whereas the United States Secretary of State must give paramount consideration to the safety and security of United States citizens in regulating their travel abroad; and Whereas, in regulating the travel of United States citizens abroad, the United States Secretary of State has a variety of options, including instituting a travel advisory for countries where United States citizens are deemed at risk or have been attacked, as has been done for such countries as Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, and Turkey: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That-- (1) in determining whether to restrict the use of United States passports in any country, the Secretary of State should apply consistent criteria; (2) in deciding whether to extend the ban on the use of United States passports in Lebanon, the Secretary of State should-- (A) give paramount consideration to the need to ensure the safety of United States citizens; (B) give full consideration to the improved security situation in Lebanon, the effect of the ban on the opportunities for United States businesses, and the impact of the ban on United States interests in Lebanon and the Middle East; and (C) give full consideration to whether United States interests would be more effectively served by removing the ban on the use of United States passports in Lebanon, and instituting instead a travel advisory for Lebanon; and (3) the Secretary of the Senate shall transmit a copy of this concurrent resolution to the Secretary of State.


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