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Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke on the House Floor in support of passing H.R. 3099, to establish in the Department of State the position of Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords, and for other purposes.


– Chairman McCaul delivered the following remarks –

Mr. Speaker, for 75 years, the United States and Israel have been close friends and partners, working hand in hand on our shared priorities to keep our nations safe, secure, and prosperous. Along with our partnership with Israel, we also have many shared interests with our Arab partners in the region. The United States has consistently worked to help secure peace in the Middle East, and we remain committed to enduring peace throughout the region.

Not only do we want to ensure regional security, but economic prosperity as well, which drives cutting-edge innovation. And we are all concerned about Iran’s malign activities.

A nuclear Iran is a threat to the entire region, and the world, and is not acceptable. And yet, for so many years, our friends would not speak directly to one another. Even after Egypt, in 1979, and Jordan, in 1994, established peace and diplomatic relations with Israel, other Arab countries refused.

And then in August 2020, everything changed. The UAE and Israel announced they were normalizing diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by the Trump Administration, which we now know as the Abraham Accords. In short order, Bahrain and Morocco joined the UAE in opening diplomatic relations with Israel.

I was proud to be at the White House for the signing of the Accords, a game-changing development that benefits the United States, Israel, and our partners in the region. The Abraham Accords have served as the foundation for increased cooperation between Israel and Middle Eastern nations.

We have already seen incredible leaps forward as these countries engage in defense cooperation, economic cooperation, and frequent diplomatic engagement. What we have not seen, but we all wish to see, is more countries joining the Abraham Accords.

Secretary of State Blinken was in Saudi Arabia last week.

And I remain hopeful that one day, Saudi Arabia will engage with their neighbors and join these historic Accords. Saudi Arabia and Israel would both benefit from working together on their shared interests. It has never been more important that we continue to prioritize the expansion of these agreements.

Part of doing this effectively entails making it clear who in the United States government is responsible for expanding these Abraham Accords. This bipartisan bill, introduced by my colleague and friend, Mike Lawler from New York and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, would create that position — a Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords at the State Department. The Special Envoy will coordinate all efforts to expand the Accords and strengthen relationships between Israel and participating countries.

We need to put our diplomatic might into trying to achieve the kinds of big breakthroughs that created the Accords almost three years ago. This legislation, Mr. Lawler’s bill, does exactly that.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.