WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) returned Monday evening from a high-level bipartisan delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan, and Qatar, where she heard directly from active-duty troops defending the United States, received briefings from top military and diplomatic officials, and visited with key Middle East leadership.
“This is a critical time as our military fights for security and stability in the Middle East. Hearing directly from our troops and diplomats in Afghanistan, Jordan, and Qatar allows Congress to conduct sharp oversight of American missions around the world,” Congresswoman Luria said. “As a 20-year Navy veteran, it was my honor to meet with brave men and women serving in harm’s way. I look forward to applying the lessons learned so I can best advocate for the safety of our nation.”
In Afghanistan, the delegation traveled to Camp Morehead – located near Kabul – to thank Resolute Support Mission troops. Separately, the lawmakers met with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who also was visiting Afghanistan. The delegation received briefings from Ambassador John Bass, met with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and spoke with top U.S. military commanders and diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. Congresswoman Luria was among those who pushed for the women of Afghanistan to be included in reconciliation efforts.
In Jordan, the delegation met with His Majesty King Abdullah II and other senior officials. With the meeting happening on the heels of Turkey’s incursion in Syria, the leaders engaged in a dialogue on regional stability, counterterrorism, security cooperation, Middle East peace, economic development, and other shared priorities. The delegation also received detailed briefings from senior diplomats and had the chance to thank members of the U.S. Marine detachment.
Other members of the bipartisan delegation were:
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- Ranking Member Mac Thornberry, House Armed Services Committee
- Chairman Eliot Engel, House Foreign Affairs Committee
- Chairman Bennie Thompson, Homeland Security Committee
- Chairman Adam Schiff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Congressman Ron Kind, House Ways and Means Committee
- Congresswoman Susan Davis, House Armed Services Committee
- Congressman Stephen Lynch, Chairman, House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security