US Senator Jim Risch sat down for an exclusive interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm from Washington DC, where he reassured that the US plans to stay in the Middle East and hailed Egypt’s crucial role in brokering ceasefires.
“The United States and Egypt have a longstanding and important relationship,” he said.
“Egypt is strategically important, and its government has been crucial to brokering ceasefires in both Libya and Gaza and de-escalating tensions in the region. Egypt – and other countries in the region – are better served by a close relationship with the United States”.
The US won’t back down
The Republican Senator, who also serves as vice chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Biden Administration’s policies are reinforcing a narrative of an American retreat from the Middle East.
“In my conversations with our Middle East partners, they continually point to a Biden Iran policy that makes them less safe, an Afghanistan withdrawal that makes them doubt American commitment, the administration’s slow embrace of the Abraham Accords, the “pivot” to the Indo-Pacific, and increasingly restrictive arms sales,” he explained.
“The United States fought in Europe, the Pacific, and North Africa during World War II – we can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
“Given the nexus between China, Russia, and Iran, focusing on China doesn’t mean we turn our backs on the Middle East. From global energy markets, counter-terrorism, and pushing back against Iranian aggression, the Middle East remains a vitally important region to the United States.”
“Due to the Biden Administration’s policies, we must reassure our longstanding partners that we are here to stay. While there are some tensions in the relationship, Saudi Arabia, for example, has had a close relationship with the United States for over 80 years. We have worked together on some of the most pressing challenges in the region and must continue to do so. These relationships are ours to lose, and we must demonstrate that the United States intends to remain engaged in the Middle East.”
On US relations with Saudi Arabia, Senator Risch said, “Due to the Biden Administration’s policies, we must reassure our longstanding partners that we are here to stay. While there are some tensions in the relationship, Saudi Arabia has had a close relationship with the United States for over 80 years. We have worked together on some of the most pressing challenges in the region and must continue to do so. These relationships are ours to lose, and we must demonstrate that the United States intends to remain engaged in the Middle East”.
A biography of Senator Risch
Senator Jim Risch currently serves as Idaho’s 28th Senator.
He was elected to the US Senate in November 2008 after serving as Idaho State senator, lieutenant governor, and governor. He serves on five Senate Committees, including the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Select Committee on Ethics, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship ranking member.
Senator Risch began his career in public service at the age of 27, when he was elected to two terms as Ada County prosecuting attorney.
Following his tenure as president of the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association, he served 11 elected terms in the Idaho State Senate.
His time as a senator was highlighted by his quick election to the leadership positions of majority leader and Senate president Pro tempore, serving in the top two positions of Senate leadership for 19 years.