Lowey Statement on Diplomatic Agreement Between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

August 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the diplomatic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates:

“Today’s diplomatic agreement is a welcomed development in a region too often wracked by unrest, instability, and division. I applaud the leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates for setting aside their long-standing differences and charting a new path toward engagement, friendship, and ultimately peace.

“Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done to improve relations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Trump Administration’s decision to cut off United States assistance to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, with no alternative plan, was reckless and continues to cause unnecessary suffering, instability, and distrust. That is why Congress included in the final Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations bill $75 million for humanitarian and development programs for Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza and $75 million for security assistance for the West Bank. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has yet to provide these funds, despite the broad, bipartisan, and bicameral support from the Congress to do so.

“As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I urge the Administration to immediately release the FY20 funds for the West Bank and Gaza. I also urge the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to respond to Israel suspending plans to annex the West Bank by resuming security cooperation. There is no question that Israeli-UAE diplomatic relations represent a remarkable step forward toward regional security and prosperity, but it’s my sincere hope that today’s developments open opportunities to advance other critically-needed steps that are also long-overdue.”