LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The United States and Lebanon continue to enjoy good relations. Prominent current issues between the United States and Lebanon include progress toward a Lebanon-Israel peace treaty, U.S. aid to Lebanon, and Lebanons capacity to stop Hizballah militia attacks on Israel. The United States supports Lebanons independence and favored the end of Israeli and Syrian occupation of parts of Lebanon. Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon on May 23, 2000, and Syria completed withdrawing its forces on April 26, 2005. Regional tensions increased in mid-2006, however, as clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza territory spread to Lebanon. In July, Hizballah rocket attacks against Israel and capture of two Israeli soldiers prompted large-scale Israeli bombing of Hizballah positions and Lebanese infrastructure. Lebanon s government is based in part on a 1943 agreement that called for a Maronite Christian President, a Sunni Muslim Prime Minister, and a Shiite Muslim Speaker of the National Assembly, and stipulated that the National Assembly seats and civil service jobs be distributed according to a ratio of 6 Christians to 5 Muslims. On August 21, 1990, at the end of a devastating 15-year civil war, Lebanons National Assembly adopted the Taif reforms named after the Saudi Arabian city where they were negotiated. The parliament was increased to 128 to be divided evenly between Christians and Muslim-Druze, presidential authority was decreased, and the Speakers and the Prime Ministers authority was increased. President Ilyas Hirawi signed the constitutional amendment implementing the reforms on September 21, 1990.
- Government and Political Science