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Tags: joni ernst | saudi arabia | israel

Sen. Ernst to Lead Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Israel

By    |   Thursday, 05 October 2023 01:15 PM EDT

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the next few days, and is expected to meet with multiple heads of state.

Ernst’s office told Axios that the delegation will also travel to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. A source with knowledge of the trip told the outlet that Ernst and members of the delegation are slated to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and an Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also meet with the group.

As co-chair of the Abraham Accords Caucus in Congress, Ernst will likely encourage the leaders of both nations to move toward normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

"The historic Abraham Accords have already increased stability in the Middle East due to the once-impossible partnerships created and sustained by this agreement," Ernst told Axios. "This is just the beginning, and this trip provides the perfect opportunity to grow U.S. partnerships in the region."

Ernst’s trip to the Middle East comes as the White House seeks to ink a mega-deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel in the next few months, before President Joe Biden’s schedule is overwhelmed by the upcoming presidential election.

The Biden administration is reportedly negotiating a potential security agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia, as well as possible American support for a Saudi civilian nuclear program and U.S. approval for advanced weapons sales to the oil-rich kingdom.

As White House officials hold separate negotiations with Saudi, Israeli, and Palestinian officials to broker a peace plan, regional sources have indicated that normalization of ties between the kingdom and Israel will occur, regardless of any potential Palestinian opposition.

Any deal that is ultimately reached will likely require the approval of the Senate, meaning the administration will need the support of both Republicans and Democrats, including those who have previously been critical of the governments of Saudi Arabia or Israel.

On Wednesday, a group of 20 Democrat senators sent a letter to Biden expressing concern about a potential deal with Saudi Arabia. The group outlined elements that it felt should be included in any normalization agreement between the kingdom and the Jewish state.

“Peace between Israel and its neighbors has been a longstanding goal of U.S. foreign policy, and we are maintaining an open mind about any agreement that would potentially deepen the political, cultural, and economic ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” the group wrote. “As the Administration pursues negotiations to achieve an agreement that may require Senate action, we write to share our views on the parameters of any potential proposal that aligns with U.S. security goals and advances your stated goals for long term peace, stability and justice in the region.”

Axios reports that, despite the Biden administration’s involvement, Ernst and other Senate Republicans are very supportive of a deal and are likely to vote in favor of it.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the next few days, and is expected to meet with multiple heads of state. Ernst's office told Axios that the delegation will also travel to Bahrain and the United Arab...
joni ernst, saudi arabia, israel
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2023-15-05
Thursday, 05 October 2023 01:15 PM
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