DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Sent By: andres.uzcategui@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 5648
Date: 10/30/2014

Dear Colleague:

Since 1996, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. With the Syrian conflict still ongoing, and the continued presence of ISIL dominating parts of Iraq and Syria – both of which share a border with Jordan – our current priority must be to support this important ally. Jordan has played a critical role in the international response to the Syrian conflict and subsequent humanitarian and refugee crises. Since 2011, millions of Syrians have fled the fighting between the Assad regime, dangerous terrorist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the al-Nusra Front, and local militias, with a large number of them seeking refuge in Jordan. As of August 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are more than 600,000 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan, while the Kingdom estimates that there are an additional 800,000 unregistered refugees living outside of the camps and amongst the communities. This would put the total number of refugees Jordan has taken in over the past three and a half years at nearly 1.5 million – almost one-quarter of Jordan’s population; a number which is unsustainable and has put a severe strain on Jordan’s infrastructure, economy and security.

Given the current situation, and the importance of the Kingdom of Jordan to regional stability, it is vital that the United States support Jordan in its response to the Syrian refugee crisis, provide necessary assistance to alleviate the domestic burden to provide basic needs for the assimilated Syrian refugees, cooperate with Jordan to combat the terrorist threat from ISIL or other terrorist organizations, and help secure the border between Jordan and its neighbors Syria and Iraq.

In order to do so in the timeliest manner, I have introduced H.R. 5648 – the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act. This bill would:

  • Amend the Arms Export Control Act to include Jordan on a list of trusted allies for which Congress may expedite the process for which we sell Jordan much needed military equipment it needs to defend against and fight ISIL
  • Expand the MoU to increase military cooperation between our two countries, including joint military exercises and personnel exchanges

 

If you would like to cosponsor this bill to ensure security and stability in the Middle East, please contact Eddy Acevedo atEddy.Acevedo@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN

Member of Congress