|Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement as he and other Members of Congress departed for a bipartisan Congressional delegation (CODEL) to the Middle East.
The Members of Congress joining Chairman Meeks on the delegation are Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), David Cicilline (D-RI), Andy Barr (R-KY), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and French Hill (R-AR).
“Today, a Congressional delegation will be traveling to the Middle East to bolster diplomatic relationships with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as conduct oversight of U.S. programming in the region. The trip will allow members to explore the challenges posed by the recent outbreak of violence in Gaza; assess Israel’s current security needs; and evaluate the Biden Administration’s attempts to restart assistance to the Palestinian people. The CODEL hopes to familiarize itself with the new Israeli government and engage with local partners on the ground who are working to improve the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis.
“The delegation will then travel to the State of Qatar to address issues of mutual concern between the United States and Qatar, including regional security threats, economic interests, and the important normalization agreements between Arab governments and Israel. The delegation will visit with CENTCOM forces to assess the Iranian threat, our regional security posture, and spend time with our deployed military personnel.
“The COVID-19 pandemic remains a concern of the delegation and precautions will be taken to protect participants and our hosts. The status of COVID response in Israel, Qatar, and the region will be addressed.”