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HomeMiddle EastHigh-Ranking US Delegation Heads to the Middle East

High-Ranking US Delegation Heads to the Middle East

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A high-ranking US delegation is scheduled to arrive these days to the Middle East with the aim of boosting diplomatic ties in the region.

The delegation will be headed by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks.

Democratic Representatives Ted Deutch; David Cicilline; Abigail Spanberger; Sara Jacobs; Kathy Manning; and Brad Schneider will also be attending the trip, as will Republicans Andy Barr, Nicole Malliotakis, and French Hill.

Meeks said he will first meet with Israel’s new government in an attempt “to ease its relationship with the Palestinian Authority.”

“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,” Meeks said.

During Donald Trump’s administration, the PA cut all ties with Israel and the US after Trump decided to suspend all aid assistance to Palestinians.

However, US President Joe Biden has approved once he came to office around $235m in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Visiting Qatar

The US delegation will also visit Qatar to discuss “issues of mutual concern”  between the two countries.

Visiting Al Udeid Air Base, home of US central command in the Middle East (Centcom), will be an essential part of the trip.

The visit will mainly address regional security threats and economic interests.

It also aims to better understand “Iranian provocations in the region” and the US’s “regional security posture”, Meeks said.

The delegation will also deal with the COVID-19 response in both Qatar and Israel.

“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,” Meeks said.

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