WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening made the following statement:

“The United States should never shy away from diplomacy if there's a chance to advance our interests and values. But diplomacy is more than photos and handshakes. It requires serious investment and expertise, as well as clear strategies to advance American interests. Despite the fanfare surrounding President Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin, we know from the Administration's past actions and deep budget cuts to the State Department that real diplomacy isn't actually a priority for this Administration.

“Instead of focusing on whether Presidents Trump and Putin had good ‘chemistry,’ I'd like the Administration to tell us what it plans to do to hold Russia accountable for its interference in our election; to push back on Russia's support for the murderous Assad regime; and to raise our objections to the pervasive human rights abuses that Putin employs to stay in power.”