By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, April 1 U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R from Ohio) were part of a high-profile delegation that met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Representative Roby said, “Israel, our friend and close ally, is a critical foothold for democracy in a dangerous region that is, frankly, becoming less and less stable.”
Rep. Roby said, “We had a long, productive discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu about our shared concerns relating to Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Under no circumstances can we allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon. It would threaten our allies, and it would cause a very serious ripple effect throughout the Middle East.”
Congresswoman Roby said in her statement, “Every indication we have tells us that the deal being discussed is weak. It would be a mistake to enter into a deal that creates an eventual path toward a bomb. We need to negotiate from a position of strength, not out of desperation to reach a deal with Iranian leaders who have stated an intent to harm both America and Israel. Our delegation assured the prime minister that we stand with Israel and that we will continue to work with its leaders to promote peace in the region.”
Speaker Boehner delivered the following remarks Wednesday at a media availability with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Mr. Prime Minister, let me just say how happy I am to be in Israel. Our delegation has spent the last five days throughout the Middle East. Regardless of where in the Middle East we’ve been, the message has been the same: you can’t continue to turn your eye away from the threats that face all of us. As you said, the bonds between the United States and Israel are as strong as ever.”
Rep. Boehner continued, “Our two countries cooperate on many different levels. And while we may have political disagreements from time to time, the bonds between our two nations are strong, and they’re going to continue to be strong. It’s been an historic trip, and frankly, it’s an historic opportunity to be here in Israel at this time. And, let me take a moment to say congratulations on your re-election.”
Rep. Roby said that the delegation had a productive conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, then traveled to the border of the Gaza Strip where they received a briefing on the system of intricate “terror tunnels,” which are used by Hamas for military purposes. The lawmakers also visited the Black Arrow Paratrooper Memorial where they received an update on the situation inside Gaza. Roby and the delegation traveled earlier to Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where they met with elected officials, U.S. ambassadors and military personnel.
The delegation includes: Rep. John Kline (R from Minnesota), Rep. Devin Nunes (R from California), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R from Florida), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R from New Jersey), Rep. Tom Cole (R from Oklahoma), Rep. Ken Calvert (R from California), Rep. Mike Simpson (R from Idaho), and Rep. George Holding (R from North Carolina).
Congresswoman Roby serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction & Veterans Affairs. In each of the last four years she has traveled with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile negotiations continued in high-stakes international talks with Iran over its nuclear program, with tense negotiations just hours away from the deadline. Secretary of State John Kerry (D) told CNN, “There still remain some difficult issues. We are working very hard to work those through.” According to Fox News, Sec. Kerry has remained at the negotiating table in Lausanne, Switzerland with Iran even though two deadlines for a deal have come and gone.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, “The emerging agreement in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price to pay for aggression, and conversely, there is a reward for Iran’s aggression.”
Without an agreement economic sanctions against Iran are likely to resume. Iran on the other hand could break out of the agreement not to enrich their uranium to weapons grade.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
(Original Reporting by Fox News, CNN, and the New York Post contributed to this report.)