U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Cairo, Egypt over the weekend for a series of high-level diplomatic meetings as part of a bipartisan Congressional Delegation (CODEL). Senator Reed and members of the CODEL are now on their way back to the United States.
During the trip, which was designed to show support for Israel, members of the CODEL reiterated their steadfast support for Israel and its right to defend itself.
The first stop on the trip was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where Senator Reed and his colleagues met with Saudi officials, including the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to discuss current political affairs and security matters in the region.
In Israel, the CODEL met with families whose loved ones have been taken hostage by Hamas and vowed to continue working vigilantly to urge their safe return. They also met with Israeli leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid; National Unity party leader Benny Gantz; and Israeli President Isaac Herzog. The delegation also met with the Israeli Minister of Defense and other government leaders.
In Egypt, they met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
In addition to Reed, members of the bipartisan delegation include U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Katie Britt (R-AL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and John Thune (R-SD).
The CODEL is expected to return to the U.S. in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 24.
During a joint media availability in Tel Aviv yesterday, Senator Reed stated:
After Hamas’ depraved and despicable terror attack on the people of Israel and indeed, against all humanity, we stand here with Israel. We stand in Israel to proclaim our support and our effort to assist them in their great efforts.
You’ve got to understand that Hamas hates the Jewish people and cares nothing about the Palestinian people. That’s why they will use them as shields against their weapon systems. That’s why they will throw them in the firing line.
We have to deal with that terror. We have to help the state of Israel degrade and ultimately destroy Hamas. And we also have to stand, the United States, as a bulwark against the expansion of this conflict into other areas.
Those nations that are trying to seize an opportunity should know that they would be seizing something less than opportunity. They would be seizing a very, very bitter outcome.
And importantly we’re here to remind the whole world community that we have an obligation to those innocents – those innocents in Palestine, those innocents rather in Gaza, and those other Innocents across the globe.
We’ve had a very productive session yesterday with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and we urged him to join the International Community to provide the resources that are necessary to allow Palestinians in Gaza to flee the control of Hamas and be sustained until Hamas is defeated.
Together we are here, all of us, to stand with Israel thank you.
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