House Foreign Affairs Committee

House Foreign Affairs Committee Official page of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chairman. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to a broad range of foreign policy areas, including foreign assistance, the use of American military force abroad, international law and its enforcement, and trade.

The Committee is divided into Subcommittees that oversee narrower areas of policy:

-Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

-Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation

-Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment

-Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism

-Oversight and Investigations

-Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade

Operating as usual

01/14/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks: This Thai Pongal, I extend my warmest wishes to Tamils and those celebrating the harvest, abundance and renewal around the world.

Pongal Nalvazhthukkal!

01/13/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Saddened by the passing of European Parliament President David Sassoli, a symbol of democracy with a bold vision for a Europe based on common values. I remain committed to building on his tireless work and strengthening our transatlantic relationship.

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Excellent meeting with #Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Hsafadi today affirming the importance o...
01/13/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Excellent meeting with #Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Hsafadi today affirming the importance of a strong US-Jordanian partnership and discussing a number of issues of regional importance.

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Excellent meeting with #Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Hsafadi today affirming the importance of a strong US-Jordanian partnership and discussing a number of issues of regional importance.

Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess Pre...
01/12/2022

Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess President Saïed’s Anti-Democratic Trajectory, Ensure Meaningful Reforms:

While applauding Tunisians’ achievements since the country’s transition to democracy in 2011, the lawmakers shared their apprehensions about the country’s trajectory and pressed the Biden administration to continue to support transparent and meaningful reforms and accountability for President Saïed’s proposed reform plans.

Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess President Saïed’s Anti-Democratic Trajectory, Ensure Meaningful Reforms:

While applauding Tunisians’ achievements since the country’s transition to democracy in 2011, the lawmakers shared their apprehensions about the country’s trajectory and pressed the Biden administration to continue to support transparent and meaningful reforms and accountability for President Saïed’s proposed reform plans.

01/12/2022

Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess President Saïed’s Anti-Democratic Trajectory, Ensure Meaningful Reforms:

Dear Secretary Blinken:

In light of our longstanding support for the bilateral relationship, we write to you on the 11thanniversary of Tunisia’s revolution to emphasize our continued commitment to the Tunisian people and their vision for a stable, secure, and prosperous Tunisia firmly rooted in democracy and the rule of law.

Eleven years ago, Tunisians of all ages, economic statuses, and political affiliations stood together to oust the authoritarian regime of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, ushering in a new era of hope for political freedom. Tunisia has since made remarkable strides, holding several democratic elections and peaceful transfers of power, which have helped transform it into a positive example across the region.

Today, we write to share our concerns that recent developments in the country threaten Tunisia’s democracy. While we welcome certain steps taken by President Saïed, including the appointment of a new Prime Minister, and the announcement of a roadmap outlining a path forward for political reform, more needs to be done to ensure the process remains transparent, inclusive, and democratically rooted. We also remain concerned by the consolidation of executive powers, use of the military against democratic institutions and political opponents, potentially politically motivated detentions, and recent tightening of media restrictions.

While we underscore the continued importance of aid for Tunisia, especially as related to COVID response and the strategic importance of continuing U.S.-Tunisia defense cooperation, we urge the Administration to carefully consider the scope and priorities of U.S. assistance, including the possibility of conditioning certain aid on measurable reforms.

We remain firmly committed to expanding upon the gains made over the past 11 years, and the growth of the U.S.-Tunisia bilateral relationship. To that end, we urge the administration to continue to support efforts to ensure a transparent and meaningful reform process, including by advocating for the selection of an inclusive constitutional reform drafting committee. As President Saïed’s roadmap progresses, we underscore the importance of holding Saïed accountable to his timeline and call on Tunisia to end politicized detentions, cease media censorship and respond to the Tunisian publics’ call to hold early elections. Tunisia’s return to a democratic path that respects constitutional order, rule of law, the basic rights of its citizens, and the separation of powers is vital to ensure the country’s long-term growth and prosperity.



Sincerely,

Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Af...
01/12/2022
Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess President Saïed’s Anti-Democratic Trajectory, Ensure Meaningful Reforms

Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in writing to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to express their concerns regarding recent developments in Tunisia that threaten the country’s democracy. While applauding Tunisians’ achievements since the country’s transition to democracy in 2011, the lawmakers shared their apprehensions about the country’s trajectory and pressed the Biden administration to continue to support transparent and meaningful reforms and accountability for President Saïed’s proposed reform plans.

Ahead of 11th Anniversary of Tunisian Revolution, Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Urge Biden Administration to Assess President Saïed’s Anti-Democratic Trajectory, Ensure Meaningful Reforms January 12, 2022 WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas...

01/12/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks: 12 years ago today, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. As Haiti continues to heal, we remember the nearly 250,000 lives lost and pray for the millions more displaced in its wake.

As Chair, I will continue to fight for the wellbeing of the Haitian people.

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Pleased to see President Biden approve additional USAID funding to help address the dire humanit...
01/11/2022
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on the United States Providing Additional Humanitarian Assistance to the People of Afghanistan | The White House

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Pleased to see President Biden approve additional USAID funding to help address the dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan through emergency food assistance, COVID vaccines and winterization efforts.

The United States is announcing a new contribution of more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan. This brings total

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch send le...
01/11/2022
Meeks, McCaul, Menendez, Risch Raise Concerns Over U.S. Policy in Syria

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch send letter to President Joe Biden requesting a restoration of US leadership on the crisis in Syria. The leaders asked the president to refuse reintegrating the Assad regime into the international community without meaningful reforms that demonstrate accountability and reflect the will of the Syrian people.

Meeks, McCaul, Menendez, Risch Raise Concerns Over U.S. Policy in Syria January 11, 2022 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and...

01/11/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch letter to President Joe Biden requesting a restoration of US leadership on the crisis in Syria:

Dear President Biden,

We write to raise several urgent issues regarding U.S. Syria policy as Bashar Al Assad continues to wage his brutal war against the Syrian people.

Given Assad’s horrific crimes against the Syrian people, the United States has long maintained that the international community cannot reintegrate the Syrian regime without meaningful reforms that demonstrate accountability and reflect the will of the Syrian people. We urge your Administration to reinforce that position. We are concerned that a number of our Arab partners continue to increase their formal and informal relationships with the Assad regime, including the establishment of official diplomatic outposts and publicly released diplomatic overtures. Your Administration should consider consequences for any nation that seeks to rehabilitate the Assad regime and to ensure all countries understand that normalization or Assad’s return to the Arab League are unacceptable. Tacit approval of formal diplomatic engagement with the Syrian regime sets a dangerous precedent for authoritarians who seek to commit similar crimes against humanity.

Assad’s crimes against the Syrian people are well-documented. With the support of the Russian Federation and the Iranian regime, Assad has used chemical weapons on innocent civilians, intentionally targeted hospitals and doctors, used starvation as a weapon of war, and disappeared thousands of political dissidents in his notorious prisons. In addition to the Caesar file, the International Commission for Justice and Accountability has secured over 900,000 government documents, many of which link these crimes directly to Bashar al Assad. Your Administration should continue efforts to seek justice for the Syrian people and expand accountability efforts to this end.

We also urge you to utilize the robust, mandatory deterrence mechanisms in the bipartisan Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to maintain the Assad regime’s isolation. While you have issued additional Syria sanctions under non-Caesar Executive authorities, utilizing Caesar designations would publicly underscore the U.S. position concerning political normalization. The law rightly calls for sanctions against the Assad regime and its supporters, both inside and outside Syria, until we see progress on the release of political prisoners, an end to the use of Syrian airspace for attacks against civilians, unfettered humanitarian access, and compliance with the prohibitions on the use of chemical weapons, and accountability for war crimes. Given the failure to secure progress on these fronts in UN-led political negotiations, U.S. pressure to this end is all the more important.

Further, we remain concerned by reports that the Assad regime manipulated currency exchange rates to steal at least $100 million in humanitarian aid money over a two year period. As this Administration works to expand humanitarian access in Assad held territory, including through a focus on early recovery projects, we ask you to share with us, within 60 days of receipt of this letter, your strategy to prevent such theft and to ensure U.S. and international aid ends up in the hands of those that need it most.

Finally, recent reports have shed light on the Syrian regime’s significant role in trafficking captagon. We must deploy our counter-drug trafficking tools in the Syria context to cut off the regime’s access to illicit funds gained through the captagon trade.

It is vitally important that U.S. policy in Syria is consistent with our values. Secretary Blinken promised that “When Joe Biden is president, we will restore U.S. leadership on humanitarian issues [in Syria].” While your Administration has secured renewal of the UN mandate for cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid and expanded stabilization support in areas liberated from the Islamic State, these efforts merely address symptoms of the underlying conflict and will ultimately fall flat in the absence of a broader diplomatic strategy to resolve the decade-long civil war.

Accordingly, we request an interagency briefing, to include National Security Council participation, on Syria policy moving forward.

We look forward to your response.

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch letter ...
01/11/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch letter to President Joe Biden condemning Assad's continued crimes against the Syrian people, opposing Syria's re-entry into the Arab League, and calling for justice and accountability:

Chairman Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member James Risch letter to President Joe Biden condemning Assad's continued crimes against the Syrian people, opposing Syria's re-entry into the Arab League, and calling for justice and accountability:

Today, Chairman Gregory Meeks issued the following statement regarding the recent conviction and sentencing of Aung San ...
01/11/2022
Meeks Issues Statement on the Recent Conviction and Sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi

Today, Chairman Gregory Meeks issued the following statement regarding the recent conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi:

Meeks Issues Statement on the Recent Conviction and Sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi January 10, 2022 Washington, DC – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the recent conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu ....

01/11/2022

Chairman Gregory Meeks issued the following statement regarding the recent conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi:

“I categorically condemn the fraudulent sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected State Counsellor of Burma. The politically motivated charges against her and this latest conviction are the height of farce, but Aung San Suu Kyi is just the most prominent figure that has been unjustly detained. Thousands of other Burmese elected officials, journalists, civil society leaders, pro-democracy activists, and others remain detained and face bogus charges as the Burmese military junta attempts to skirt the rule of law, silence the will of the Burmese people, and erase any elements of democracy that had taken root.

"As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Tatmadaw’s illegal and illegitimate coup, we cannot allow the military junta to continue operating with impunity. The United States must demonstrate our solidarity with the Burmese people and the cause of democracy. We cannot be silent as the military harasses, tortures, and murders innocent civilians. It is time for Congress to pass the BURMA Act to hold accountable the perpetrators of the coup and the atrocities that have taken place since. I implore my colleagues in the Senate to move this important legislation without delay. I also call on the Biden administration to do more to apply pressure on the military junta, provide humanitarian support to those in need, and help bring this crisis to an end.”

Chairman Gregory Meeks: If the Taliban want to show the world it has changed, it must stop intimidating and harassing it...
01/11/2022
Afghanistan: The Taliban must immediately release Professor Faizullah Jalal

Chairman Gregory Meeks: If the Taliban want to show the world it has changed, it must stop intimidating and harassing its critics. The Taliban’s arrest of Professor Jalal is just the most recent example of this intimidation. #FreeProfessorJalal

(Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Encouraged to hear President Joe Biden & Abiy Ahmed Ali today discussed the path to peace in Eth...
01/10/2022
Readout of President Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia | The White House

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Encouraged to hear President Joe Biden & Abiy Ahmed Ali today discussed the path to peace in Ethiopia & strengthening US-Ethiopia ties.
I strongly urge all parties to seize this opportunity to establish lasting peace for the sake of Ethiopia’s people.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and opportunities to

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Deeply saddened to hear of the murder of Lenca leader Pablo Isabel Hernández. I urge the Hondura...
01/10/2022
Indigenous Lenca leader shot dead in Honduras, police say

Chairman Gregory Meeks: Deeply saddened to hear of the murder of Lenca leader Pablo Isabel Hernández. I urge the Honduran government to carry out a swift and thorough investigation and take steps to increase protection for human rights leaders throughout the country.

Police in Honduras say a local leader of the indigenous Lenca group has been shot to death

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