WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) led a 10-member bipartisan Congressional delegation that returned today from meetings with American service members, U.S. officials, and key government leaders in Morocco, Spain, and Switzerland.
The delegation’s meetings were focused on understanding and improving the United States’ cooperation with these key allies on matters of international security, counterterrorism, and trade.
Joining Scalise were U.S. Representatives Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).
In Morocco, the group met with Head of Government Saadedine El Othmani, Parliament Lower House Second Vice President Rachid El Abdi, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Digital Economy Moulay Hafid El Alami, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, as well as with U.S. industry leaders doing business in Morocco.
A major non-NATO ally, Morocco’s security cooperation with the United States has been critical to counterterrorism efforts, allowing Morocco to serve as a leader in the region and train other nations to stop the spread of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
The delegation discussed the long-standing security and economic cooperation between the U.S. and Morocco, and opportunities to grow trade and investment between the two nations with an eye towards promoting American aerospace, agriculture, and energy.
The delegation meets with the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Digital Economy, El Alami.
The delegation holds a press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
The delegation meets with Head of Government El Othmani.
The delegation thanked our Spanish allies for hosting American troops at Morón and Rota for more than 60 years, discussed how to improve and strengthen the working relationship between the two nations, and emphasized Spain’s important roles in NATO and in E.U.-U.S. cooperation.
“Scalise led a delegation of nine congressmen and was joined by Spanish Ambassador to the U.S. Pedro Morones to learn more about the installation’s mission, capabilities and how it contributes to security in the region.
“‘I wanted to bring a delegation of members of Congress out here to Rota to show how important it is that Spain and the United States have a great working relationship that supports NATO,” said Scalise. “It supports our two country’s military missions on counterterrorism. Our visit shows the men and women in uniform how much we appreciate the sacrifices they make and the job they do to keep our country safe.’
“The delegation then visited with senior Naval Station Rota leadership to receive a briefing on the installation’s mission and daily operations before taking a tour of the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) and meeting the crew.”
The delegation meets King Felipe VI.
Following their meeting, the delegation poses with Secretary General of Defense Policy Admiral Juan Francisco Martínez Núñez.
The delegation meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfonso Dastis.
Whip Scalise and the delegation meet with Marines and Airmen from their home states who are stationed in Spain.
The delegation tours the USS Carney.
The delegation discussed the nations’ shared challenges and threats, and opportunities to enhance security and economic cooperation—including on cyber security, modernizing the Swiss military, and improving trade and investment between the two nations.
As a nation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, Switzerland contributes to NATO missions and provides valuable capabilities to NATO allies through training and education.
The delegation meets with Head of the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport Guy Parmelin.
The delegation meets with Deputy Foreign Minister Pascale Baeriswyl.
Whip Scalise meets with the U.S. Ambassador Edward McMullen and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis.