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Rubio, Coons Introduce Resolution Urging The U.S. To Finalize Military Assistance Agreement With Israel

Jun 22, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced a resolution expressing support for the quick conclusion of a robust and long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on military assistance between the U.S. government and the government of Israel. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), David Perdue (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Gary Peters (D-MI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mark Warner (D-VA) are original cosponsors of the resolution.

“The United States has no greater friend than the sole free market democracy in the Middle East, Israel. Israel currently faces an unprecedented range of threats and is surrounded by countries and non-state actors bent on its destruction. It is now more important than ever that a new and long-term MoU is finalized,” said Rubio. “We must ensure that Israel is protected in the face of new and ongoing threats and growing instability in the region. A strong MoU further reinforces the United States’ commitment to a robust relationship with Israel and its people. I urge President Obama to make it a priority to finalize this agreement as soon as possible.”

“During a time of increased unrest in the Middle East, it is important for the United States to reaffirm that Israel is a major strategic partner and reiterate our intention to uphold Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” said Coons. “I urge the Administration to finalize a new Memorandum of Understanding to allow both nations to further cooperation to meet growing security threats in the region.”

With the current MoU set to expire in 2018, members of both parties in the House and Senate have been urging President Obama to reach an agreement with Israel on a new defense aid package worth more than the current $3 billion per year due to increasing threats and instability in the region.

This resolution:

  • Reaffirms that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States;
  • Reaffirms that it is the policy and law of the United States to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge and has the capacity and capability to defend itself from all credible military threats;
  • Reaffirms United States support of a robust Israeli tiered missile defense program;
  • Urges the expeditious finalization of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel; and
  • Supports a robust and long-term Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between the United States and Israel regarding military assistance which increases the amount of aid from previous agreements and significantly enhances Israel’s military capabilities.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) introduced a companion resolution (H. Res. 729) in the House.