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Murphy departs Middle East: It’s clear the Biden administration is having a positive impact on the region

By JT - May 06,2021 - Last updated at May 06,2021

US Senator Chris Murphy

AMMAN — US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, departed Jordan on Wednesday after a trip to the region, according to a statement from the senator’s office.

The trip included meetings with foreign leaders and senior officials including His Majesty King Abdullah, Omani Foreign Minister Al Busaidi, Qatari Foreign Minister Al Thani, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and several European ambassadors to Yemen to discuss the humanitarian crisis and urgent need to find a political solution to end the war in Yemen. 

Murphy joined senior members of the Biden administration, including Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, during parts of the trip and discussed the reform agenda in the Middle East, prospects for preserving the two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, instability in Syria and the refugee crisis, and the need to restart the Iran nuclear deal. 

“After spending just five days in the region, there’s a sense that the grass shoots of dialogue are emerging between historic rivals with paths to peace visible in seemingly intractable conflicts.  I spent a lot of time on my trip focusing on Yemen, where I joined US Special Envoy Tim Lenderking to speak with partners about the desperate need for a ceasefire.  

"I also joined the administration’s delegation to reaffirm the US commitment to Jordan while also encouraging progress on reform, and discussed other important issues such as the challenges facing Palestinian refugees and how to get Iran back in the nuclear deal,” said Murphy. 

“The region isn’t immune from the hardship so many of us have faced this past year with COVID, but it’s clear the Biden administration’s focus on de-escalation and diplomacy has had an immediate, positive impact on the region,” he said.

Murphy continued: “I appreciate the efforts of our ambassadors and embassy staff who helped facilitate my meetings in these three countries, and I’m grateful for their work to protect American interests.” 

In Jordan, Murphy also met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maj. Gen. Yousef Huneiti.  

Murphy discussed the situation in Yemen with EU Ambassador Hans Grundberg to Yemen, German Ambassador to Yemen Karola Molar, and UK Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron, as well as UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.  

Senator Murphy also discussed the challenges facing Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan with UNRWA Commissioner General Lazzarini during a visit to a UNRWA-sponsored training centre and met with the Director of the Al Hayat Centre Amer Bani Amer, to better understand the contributions of civil society to Jordanian stability. 

Finally, Murphy shared lunch with members of the Connecticut National Guard currently on assignment to Jordan, according to the statement.

Last month, Murphy discussed the urgent need for humanitarian funding in Yemen with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock. 

Murphy joined the Mehdi Hassan Show to discuss the need for donors to fulfill their pledges and help address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 

Murphy also recently chaired a subcommittee hearing on US policy on Yemen that included US Department of State Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, United States Institute of Peace President and Chief Executive Officer Lise Grande, and International Rescue Committee’s Senior Director for International Programmes, Policy and Advocacy Amanda Catanzano, the statement said. 

 

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