Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, concluded his official trip to the Middle East with a visit to Israel on Sunday. Rubio also visited Lebanon and the Kingdom of Jordan to conduct oversight of U.S. programs abroad.
On his official Facebook page this morning, Rubio issued the following statement:
“On Sunday evening, I concluded my official Middle East tour with a visit to Israel. This was my second visit to Israel as a senator and my third overall, and it was an honor to return with three other Senate colleagues. From the moment one sets foot in Israel, the evidence of freedom, progress and tolerance are evident everywhere, as Israel continues to be an oasis of democracy and free enterprise in a tumultuous region plagued with difficult security, foreign policy and economic challenges.
“Upon arrival, I visited the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, where I look forward to soon seeing David Friedman confirmed by the Senate and working hard to restore the U.S.-Israel relationship. Later, we visited the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, where I was briefed by U.S. Consul General Donald Blome. In both venues, we met with American foreign service personnel to discuss the state of U.S. international programs operating in Israel and throughout the region, the military and intelligence cooperation between our two nations, our robust economic ties, and the ongoing threats our ally faces from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other hostile actors in the region.
“Israel remains a shining example of what free people can accomplish anywhere in the world, and the impact that unwavering American support and smartly targeted U.S. international assistance can have in advancing our interests and values abroad. As a senator, further strengthening the unique relationship between the U.S. and Israel remains one of my highest priorities.
“As a Christian, visiting the Holy Land where Christianity began is an awe-inspiring experience. It is also a reminder of Israel's embrace of religious freedom while remaining steadfast to its founders' promise to forever be a Jewish state. I prayed for our two nations, for Israel's future, for our alliance, and for people everywhere to be able to live in peace and free from threats like those we continue to see abroad from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, and at home against Jewish Community Centers in the U.S.
“May God bless Israel, may God bless the United States of America, and may God always watch over our close alliance.”