WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, made the following statement after the formation of a new government in Lebanon:

“When former Prime Minister Hariri resigned, the Lebanese people demanded a technocratic government that could deliver what the political elites in Lebanon have failed to do: major economic and political reforms to fix public services and give all citizens a chance to succeed. I am doubtful this new government—dominated exclusively by Hezbollah and its allies—can achieve that. Without a government that is inclusive of all of Lebanon’s political views, it’s hard to see how this one-sided government can unify the country and enact the reforms needed to unlock the foreign aid that Lebanon desperately needs to avoid economic collapse. In this time of continued unrest, I urge this government and its security services to respect the rights of the people to express themselves and refrain from violence against protestors or journalists,” said Murphy.

Murphy released a statement when the former Lebanese Prime Minister resigned. Last year, Murphy traveled to Lebanon to see firsthand the efficacy of U.S. military aid. Upon returning from Lebanon, Murphy questioned State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood on the Trump administration’s hold of military aid.