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International Engagement & Building Peace, International Peace & Conflict

The New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act (H.R. 3797) (text of the bill) is an opportunity to put vigorous diplomacy at the center of efforts to end the Iraq war. H.R. 3797 would make it U.S. policy to engage in the inclusive regional negotiations needed to facilitate U.S. redeployment from Iraq and stabilize Iraq and the region.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Washington Office for Advocacy has chosen to pursue an intensive campaign to pass this bill. We believe that as a religious movement that strongly supports diplomacy, multilateralism, and being in right relationship we are uniquely situated to support and advocate for this bill.

H.R. 3797, the “New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act,” would require the president to develop and institute a regional diplomatic plan for the Middle East modeled on the diplomatic recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. The bill is the vehicle most likely at present to gain the support of the House for the inclusive regional diplomacy recommended by the Iraq Study Group as essential to facilitate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and stabilize Iraq and the region in the aftermath of U.S. withdrawal.

The New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act:

  • Requires the president to develop and implement a regional diplomatic plan in conjunction with the UN Security Council to:
    • Curtail the civil war.
    • Prevent the spread of violence to neighboring countries.
    • Prevent the establishment of terrorist safe havens.
    • Prevent regional conflict.
    • Prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity.
    • Promote national reconciliation inside Iraq.
  • States that it is U.S. policy to:
    • Engage in sustained diplomacy on Iraq with regional states.
    • Continue and expand U.S. bilateral talks with Iraq’s neighbors on issues of mutual interest.
    • Support the goals of the International Compact for Iraq.
    • Encourage increased involvement by international organizations to help stabilize Iraq.
  • Requires the president to report to Congress every ninety days on progress in key areas, including:
    • Achieving the goals of the plan.
    • Bilateral discussions with Iraq’s neighbors.
    • Efforts to address other critical regional issues and conflicts that significantly affect Iraq.
  • Directs the president to appoint a special presidential envoy for Iraq regional security to carry out the diplomatic plan.
  • Directs the president to seek a new UN Security Council resolution providing for:
    • New support for stability and reconstruction in Iraq.
    • Renewed UN efforts to promote political reconciliation.
    • An increased UN role as U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq.

The New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act offers an important opportunity to put Congress on the record in support of a diplomatic solution to the war in Iraq.

Take action on H.R. 3797.

Additional information on this bill and other iraq legislation is available from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.