DearColleague.us

Letter

Bill Foster

From the office of:

Bill Foster

Sending Office: Honorable Bill Foster
Sent By:
Elise.Sugarman@mail.house.gov

Support Science Diplomacy and Peace in the Middle East

Dear Colleague

Dear Colleagues,

I strongly urge you to support an opportunity to advance U.S. diplomatic goals in the Middle East through scientific engagement in the State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations bill. Based in Jordan, SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science
and Application in the Middle East) is an international collaboration and will be the Middle East’s first major international research center.

Science is a universal language that can cross barriers and build bridges if we let it. As a high-particle physicist, I saw firsthand that even when a country’s politicians cannot get along, often their scientists do. As such, SESAME is already bringing
together such unlikely partners as Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey among others.

U.S. support would provide encouragement to all those who are struggling to collaborate across political, religious, and cultural divides in the Middle East and throughout the world. At this turbulent time in the Middle East, support for SESAME would be
enormously valuable in ensuring its success, and furthering the diplomatic interests of the United States.

The deadline to sign is March 11, 2020 COB. For more information or to sign, please contact Elise Sugarman in my office at
Elise.Sugarman@mail.house.gov or at (202) 225-3515.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bill Foster

Member of Congress

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Letter Text

Dear Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Rogers:

As you begin consideration of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2021, we write to respectfully request that the subcommittee support $10 million in funding for the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Application
in the Middle East (SESAME).

SESAME is an international scientific and technological facility under construction in Jordan. As the Middle East’s first major international research center, SESAME aims to promote scientific excellence in the surrounding regions and build scientific links
that foster better understanding and a culture of peace through collaboration. When complete, it will bring together Arabs, Israelis, and other scientists from the surrounding regions to work cooperatively on dozens of simultaneous experiments in fields ranging
from biological and medical sciences to archeology.

Science provides a common language through which individuals from different nations and distinct cultures can communicate, cooperate, and work together toward common goals. It can build bridges between people and countries – if we let it. Through decades
of international scientific cooperation, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, became an example of how former adversaries could come together through science to make a more peaceful and productive world.

The European Union and many individual nations have embraced and supported SESAME’s mission through generous contributions of equipment and financial support. However, there is an outstanding need for financial resources to purchase technical components
and upgrade donated equipment. We believe funding through U.S. voluntary contributions to participating international organizations or other mechanisms could demonstrate a commitment to science diplomacy, promote international cooperation in the Middle East,
and encourage other nations to assist in the completion of this important project.

Science is often an underutilized tool in our diplomatic toolbox. A modest contribution to this project from the Unites States would show that the Middle East, like the United States and Europe, can provide encouragement to all those who are struggling to
collaborate across political, religious, and cultural divides throughout the world.

We look forward to working with you to advance U.S. diplomatic goals in the Middle East, through international scientific engagement of the countries throughout the region.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bill Foster

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Foreign Affairs, Science

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