update deskMiddle East

Abraham Accords special envoy bill passes US House

“We urge the Senate to follow suit and pass this legislation without delay,” stated the leadership of the Conference of Presidents.

The results the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill to create a special envoy for the Abraham Accords, June 13, 2023. Source: C-SPAN screenshot.
The results the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill to create a special envoy for the Abraham Accords, June 13, 2023. Source: C-SPAN screenshot.

Reflecting the broad, bipartisan nature of political support for the Abraham Accords, the Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Act passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 413-13. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill calls for the creation of a position that would report to the secretary of state and require extensive experience in Middle East diplomacy and an in-depth understanding of both Jewish and Muslim cultures. Dan Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, is reportedly under consideration.

“The addition of a special envoy will be critical for bringing Saudi Arabia into the accords and continuing to strengthen and expand them,” stated Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), who sponsored the bill. “We are closer to a lasting, long-term peace in the Middle East than we have ever been.”

Harriet Schleifer and William Daroff, chair and CEO respectively of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, commended the House for passing the bill.

“We urge the Senate to follow suit and pass this legislation without delay,” they stated. “The creation of a permanent, codified position will ensure that the United States stays engaged in the Middle East peace process and builds from the success of the existing Abraham Accords.”

“This bill would further demonstrate a whole-of-government commitment to promoting mutual cooperation between Israel and her neighbors and fostering democratic values,” they added.

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