Hoeven Travels to Egypt, Cyprus with Bipartisan National Security CODEL to Urge Support for Israel, Defeat of Hamas

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week joined a bipartisan national security congressional delegation in Egypt, including meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and President Nikos Christodoulides in Cyprus to build regional support for Israel and to underscore the importance of defeating Hamas.

“With the national security challenges around the globe, this national security CODEL was about building and strengthening alliances with key U.S. partners,” said Hoeven. “As one of the largest and most influential countries in the Middle East, Egypt needs to work closely with Israel and the U.S. to defeat Hamas, a terrorist organization that is using Gazans as human shields. The sooner Israel is able to defeat Hamas the better, so we can limit the number of casualties and stop this terrorist organization once and for all. Good communication and coordination with Israel is more important than ever, to ensure that tensions on the ground do not escalate into more violence. We also encouraged Egypt to play a larger role in planning for the post-war governance of Gaza. At the same time, Cyprus is an important military partner for the U.S, allowing our Armed Forces an important maritime base in the region.”

Hoeven stressed the importance of Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, playing a leading role in defeating Hamas and stabilizing Gaza in the long-term, including:

  • Sharing the U.S. commitment to getting rid of Hamas and preventing its return.
  • Preserving the historic Egypt-Israel peace agreement and working with Israel to stabilize the region.
  • Taking responsible steps to help the Palestinians by accepting refugees seeking to get away from the fighting in Gaza.
  • Committing to support a post-Hamas government in Gaza that does not threaten Israel.

The Republic of Cyprus is an important U.S regional partner, with a key role to play in promoting maritime security and regional security. In Cyprus, Hoeven met with President Christodoulides to reiterate the importance of the military partnership between the U.S. and Cyprus, and the importance of the nation allowing U.S. Armed Forces to move out of ports in Cyprus. The senators met with U.S. military personnel stationed in Larnaca to support the Cyprus Maritime Corridor. Larnaca is a military barracks that functions as a base for U.S. Armed Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, bolstering the U.S. Navy’s ability to support Israel in its fight against Hamas. Navy SEALs have carried out drills off the coast of Cyprus, signaling to adversaries that attacks in the eastern Mediterranean will be opposed with force. Additionally, Hoeven reviewed U.S. efforts to operate humanitarian aid into Gaza.

In addition to Egypt and Cyprus, the delegation stopped in Finland to meet with Finnish President Alexander Stubb and Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen. Finland just joined NATO and has been an important regional partner for the U.S. as it supports Ukraine as it stands up to Russian aggression. Importantly, Hoeven noted that Finland has been spending more than 2.5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, making it a strong partner. Additionally, Finland has a capable military that is standing up to Russia.

Also en route to Egypt, the CODEL stopped at a World War II American Cemetery to pay Memorial Day honors to U.S. soldiers buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for 7,845 American soldiers killed during World War II, including 70 North Dakota servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.