Hoeven, Senators Meeting with Middle Eastern Government Officials on Security, Cooperation

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he is participating in a bipartisan Senate delegation to meet with Egyptian and other government officials in the Middle East to discuss national security and foreign relations issues pertaining to governments in the region. The delegation has already met with U.S. soldiers, as well as government and military leaders in Afghanistan, including Gen. John Allen and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. 

Other participants include Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Hoeven serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. The group departed Washington on Friday. 

The senator is planning to meet with Fargo native Staci Haag in Cairo, where she has served as resident director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization (NGO). Haag and others Americans are now threatened with trial in Egyptian courts for promoting democracy and human rights. Hoeven met with Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S. Sameh Shoukry before leaving Washington and is seeking to help with Haag’s situation in Egypt. 

Hoeven said that ongoing turmoil and uncertainty in this region of the world, especially with Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, has vitally important implications for the United States. He is one of a bipartisan group of senators seeking to impose aggressive sanction on Iran to deter their development of nuclear weapons. 

“Volatility and tensions in the Middle East create real security issues for the United States. This is particularly true while we remain dependent on Middle Eastern oil,” said Hoeven. “That’s why I’m committed to North American energy independence through work on projects like the Keystone XL pipeline. In the meantime, we must seek to build stable relations with these nations and find common ground with their leaders for the benefit of our people.”