The legislation calls on the State Department to create an ambassador-level position.
Reflecting the broad, bipartisan nature of political support for the Abraham Accords, the Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Act passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 413-13. It now heads to the Senate.
The bill calls for the creation of a position that would report to the secretary of state and require extensive experience in Middle East diplomacy and an in-depth understanding of both Jewish and Muslim cultures. Dan Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, is reportedly under consideration.
“The addition of a special envoy will be critical for bringing Saudi Arabia into the Accords and continuing to strengthen and expand them,” stated Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), who sponsored the bill. “We are closer to a lasting, long-term peace in the Middle East than we have ever been.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a backer of the bill, stated, “We are working to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords, support Israel’s existing partnerships and increase regional cooperation to counter shared threats.”
My first bill just passed the House 413-13. I was pleased to see H.R. 3099, my bill with @RepRitchie to establish a @StateDept Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords pass so broadly, underscoring our strong, bipartisan commitment to a lasting, long-term peace in the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/lz8SiCv7v0
— Congressman Mike Lawler (@RepMikeLawler) June 13, 2023