Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind my colleagues of the critical importance of our strategic allies. While some in Congress say that the United States should focus our efforts to defend our nation on building walls and restricting entry at our borders, we must continue to address the global threat of terrorism through cooperation and coordination with our allies.
While I am sure that most everyone would agree with the general concept that nations should work together to fight terrorism, I wanted to mention two countries to give my colleagues concrete examples of the critical importance of our alliances and the need to cultivate these relationships.
Turkey has a key strategic position, controlling the Bosporus Straits and sharing a border with Syria, Iran and Iraq. A member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey has been a strong ally to the United States and to all of Europe. Turkey has proven to be an important partner as US forces have left Iraq and regional tensions have increased as the situation in Syria continues to devolve and Iran pursues nuclear technologies. Turkey's importance to the US and the world will continue to increase in the future, and Turkey will be critical to maintaining peace and stability.
At a time when the US and NATO continue to maintain a large military presence in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan is a valued partner. From providing critical access to Afghanistan to helping fight the flow of illegal drugs that fund Taliban insurgents, Azerbaijan has repeatedly proven their commitment to the fight against terrorism. As Azerbaijan continues to develop democratic institutions and a civil society, their contributions to regional and global security will increase even more. At a time when all of our alliances are being tested, the partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan remains strong.
The world is a safer place for all when we combine our efforts to fight those criminals who seek to use terror as a means to achieve their goals. When we work together, we become more than the sum of our parts. I urge my colleagues to support our nation's efforts along with those of our allies like Turkey and Azerbaijan to secure and protect our citizens
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