May 24, 2019

Risch and Menendez Welcome President of Marshall Islands to U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez, (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met this week with President Hilda Heine of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

“It was an honor to meet with President Heine and discuss the long history of close cooperation between the United States and the Marshall Islands,” said Sen. Risch. “It is in the interest of the United States to further strengthen our ties with Pacific Island nations as an integral part of our overall approach to the Indo-Pacific region. I support the administration’s efforts to deepen cooperation and engagement, and will work with my Senate colleagues to do the same.”

“For too many years Pacific Island leaders have had too much difficulty in getting attention from Washington," said Sen. Menendez. "I hope our meeting with President Heine marks a rebalancing of our attention. We share common interest and common values, and the partnership between our people and our nations goes back many years. New Jersey faces a different ocean than the Marshall Islands, but we share concerns from depleted fisheries to freedom of navigation to climate change and rising sea levels. There are significant opportunities for partnership, especially on the Resiliency agenda, as we look to renew our Compact, and of course our concerns about China’s rising role and influence in the region, and I look forward to working with the government and people of the Marshall Island, and indeed all our friends in the Pacific, to assure that the United States remains engaged as partner of choice for the region.”