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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mark Warner, D-Va., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Joe Manchin, D.-W.Va., today welcomed the administration’s decision to renew a historic energy security agreement with Israel. The action comes a month after a bipartisan effort calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to renew the energy agreement.

“It’s important that we maintain our close relationship with Israel. As our strongest ally in the Middle East, our commitment to Israel’s energy security is paramount. That is why I am glad to see the administration renewing this historic agreement.” Sen. Murkowski said. 

 “I am pleased that the State Department has renewed this longstanding agreement between our two countries, reaffirming America’s deep commitment to the energy security of our close friend and ally Israel,” Sen. Warner said.

“Renewing this decades-long commitment to providing a secure oil supply for our most steadfast ally, Israel, is a critical part of maintaining our longstanding national security interests in the region and cements America’s commitment to one of its strongest partners,” Sen. Heitkamp said.

 “It is only right that this historic agreement should be renewed in order to provide certainty to Israel, one of our closest allies, that they can rely on the United States to come to their aid when it comes to secure and stable energy sources.” Sen. Risch said.

 “Israel has been our strongest ally in the Middle East since its inception in 1948, and their national security interests remain America's national security interests,” Sen. Manchin said. “It is very encouraging that the State Department has renewed our historic energy security agreement with Israel.”

 In 1975, the Ford administration signed an agreement with Israel to guarantee supplies of oil in the event that Israel lost access. The Carter administration formalized this agreement in 1979 and it was renewed by the Clinton administration in 1994, and the Bush administration in 2004. It expired in November 2014.

 The full text of the administration’s announcement is available here and a backgrounder from the Congressional Research Service on the history of this agreement is available here.