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15 April, 2021
 
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Cyprus supporter to lead US foreign committee

President Anastasiades congratulates Bob Menendez after senator resumes foreign relations chairmanship

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Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades says he looks forward to working with US Senator Bob Menendez, after the NJ Democrat was named officially chairman of the foreign relations committee in the new Congress.

Menendez, known as a friend of Cyprus and fierce Erdogan critic, took chairmanship on Thursday of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the 117th Congress. The Committee is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate.

Anastasiades took to Twitter to congratulate Menendez, calling him a “staunch supporter” and expressing readiness to tackle a range of issue in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Congratulations to Senator Menendez, a staunch supporter of a just solution to the Cyprus problem, on becoming the new Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We look forward to working closely with you to continue fostering greater stability in the E. Mediterranean,” Anastasiades tweeted.

The committee plays a crucial role in American diplomacy and foreign policy, as members are often involved in assisting with the negotiation of international treaties and even defeating some of them

Menendez, who previously chaired the panel in 2013 and 2014, was credited with co-authoring legislation aimed at recalibrating American diplomatic, military, and economic policy towards the Eastern Mediterranean, along with a strong alliance between the United States, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus.

The senator is also widely known for his role in having pushed for sanctions against Turkey, with important amendments in the 2021 fiscal budget as well as previous blocks of US arms sales to Ankara.

“I am deeply honored to be named Chairman and humbled to again lead of one of the Senate’s original ten standing committees; one that has shaped this nation’s foreign policy to advance the interests of all Americans in war and peace,” Menendez said in a statement.

According to a comment published by Kathimerini Greece, Menendez has a “rare understanding” of the US president and his secretary of state, as Joe Biden and Tony Blinken served and worked with him on the Foreign Relations Committee as chairman and staff director, respectively.

The committee plays a crucial role in American diplomacy and foreign policy, as members are often involved in assisting with the negotiation of international treaties and even defeating those that may be deemed against US national interest.

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