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Roby Recounts Details of Middle East Trip

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) traveled throughout the Middle East as part of a defense-related Congressional Delegation.  Following her trip, Rep. Roby briefed constituents in an email.

Congresswoman Roby said that the purpose of her trip was, “To evaluate the rising influence of ISIS and Iran and to examine the potential impacts on US interests at home and abroad. We had a number of productive meetings with officials from allied countries, our ambassadors and military personnel throughout the region.”

First Rep. Roby and the Congressional delegation led by Speaker of the House John Boehner went to the United Kingdom where they met with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and visited the Wilmslow facility of the Waters Corporation, an American-based science company.

Rep. Roby said, “We actually visited Manchester, where more than 70 years ago, General George S. Patton and his Third Army were stationed prior to the Normandy invasion. The United Kingdom remains one of our closest allies, and I am thankful for its leaders’ willingness to continue to work together on economic matters and in the fight against terror.”

Rep. Roby wrote, “Next up was a visit with His Majesty King Abdullah II, US Ambassador Alice Wells and other officials in Jordan. As you may know, Jordan is one of our most valuable allies in the fight against ISIS. Our delegation voiced our shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear agenda and the threat of ISIS, topics that were discussed in the majority of our meetings throughout the week.”

Rep. Roby continued, “One of the focal points, for me, during this trip was our stop in Baghdad. While there, we met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq Salim al-Jabouri, US Ambassador Stuart Jones and Lt. General James L. Terry, commander Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.”

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The conservative congresswoman warned, “With sequestration in place, there is a real threat to future defense funding that will directly impact our military’s ability to respond to emerging threats around the world. Meanwhile, global security issues are only growing more complex.”

Rep. Roby said, “I believe it is crucial that defense-minded members have a seat at the table, and it’s my responsibility to make sure our National security is properly funded.”

From Iraq Roby and her colleagues traveled on to Saudi Arabia for a visit with Interior Minister Mohammad bin Naif and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman.  Roby said that Saudi Arabia is leading the fight against rebels in Yemen.

The Shia rebels in Yemen have toppled a US backed Sunni led regime there in recent weeks.

Next the group visited Israel where Roby and her colleagues I met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Representative 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. 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.”

While there Roby traveled to the border of the Gaza Strip and received a briefing on the system of intricate “terror tunnels,” which are used by Hamas for military purposes. The group were briefed on the situation in Gaza and visited the Black Arrow Paratrooper Memorial.

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Congresswoman Roby concluded, “I am grateful for the privilege of traveling with my colleagues throughout the Middle East and appreciate the willingness of each of these nations’ officials to meet with us. It is a great honor to represent our country abroad. I want to say a special thank you to the individuals who work on behalf of the United States around the world, from our ambassadors and the diplomatic security team to our military personnel. The work you do is so important for protecting our Nation’s interests at home and overseas.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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