Frelinghuysen, Boehner Delegation Visit Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and a delegation of senior lawmakers have returned to the United States after a multi-nation fact-finding mission to several key Middle Eastern nations.  The delegation visited Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to discuss the dangers posed by violent extremism and Iran's rising influence in the region.

“At every stop on this fact-finding trip, we heard of growing concern about Iran’s aggressive behavior and ISIL’s growing threats,” Frelinghuysen said.  “We agreed that defeating ISIS and stopping the spread of the terrorism will require a clear comprehensive strategy.  Of course, we welcome other nations ‘to the fight.’ But it is crystal clear that the United States must lead!”

The delegation met this week with King Abdullah, in Amman, Jordan, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, Iraq, Saudi Interior Minister Mohammad bin Naif and Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel,

“It’s a region in turmoil that sees small victories and ever more difficult challenges each day,” Frelinghuysen said.  “During this tumultuous week alone, the Saudis were battling Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Iraqis were celebrating a questionable ‘victory’ in Tikrit, and the Jordanians were worrying about an ISIL attack on a refugee camp in Syria.  The Middle East is truly on fire and the United States needs to demonstrate our clear support for our allies and partners.”

In addition to Chairman Frelinghuysen, the delegation joining Speaker Boehner in the Middle East included senior lawmakers charged with oversight of the United States’ efforts to defeat the terrorist threat and support countries in the region that share our values and purpose.