- House passage of Libya bill buoys opponents of UAE arms sales
- Law firm lobbies for Sudan terror victims
- Alexandria Group picks up Moldovan client
- Portland PR renews with Qatar
House passage of Libya bill buoys opponents of UAE arms sales
The US House of Representatives today passed a bipartisan bill that names and shames arms embargo violators in Libya for the first time, adding a new wrinkle in the lobbying and advocacy fight over the Donald Trump administration’s proposed $23 billion sale of F-35 fighter jets, drones and munitions to the United Arab Emirates.
The House agreed by voice vote to the Libya Stabilization Act, a longtime priority for US supporters of the UN-backed government in Tripoli. The bill calls on the US to increase its diplomatic and humanitarian engagement in the North African country and identify and sanction foreign actors that threaten its peace and stability.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that they would soon introduce four separate resolutions of disapproval of the proposed arms sales. They said the Trump administration, seeking to rush the sale of the sophisticated weaponry, had circumvented the normal congressional review process.
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New lobbying filings
Sudan: Washington law firm Heideman Nudelman & Kalik has registered as a lobbyist for a group called American Victims of Sudan Terror under the domestic Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). The firm will lobby for “congressional support to urge that the United States commit to withholding approval of any settlement with the Government of Sudan unless and until the Government of Sudan resolves the claims of all United States victims who were killed and/or injured as a result of Sudan’s support for terrorism.” Registered on the account are Richard Heideman, Noel Nudelman, Tracy Kalik, Joseph Tipograph and Keyauna Fogle. President Donald Trump announced Oct. 19 that he would lift Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism as soon as Khartoum sets aside $335 million it has agreed to pay to American victims of the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and their families.
Moldova: The Alexandria Group is lobbying for Accent Electronic SA, Moldova’s largest distributor and integrator of information and communications technology products and services. The year-long, $180,000 contract calls on the firm to contact policymakers and opinion-shapers “to advance the principal’s goals regarding relations with the U.S. government, Congress, and others, including media, trade groups, and think-tanks.” Alexandria Group however “will not assist the foreign principal in pursuit of U.S.-government institutional funding for the principal’s projects.” Registered on the account are Managing partner Marshall Harris, a former State Department official, and senior political adviser Zorica Maric Djordjevic, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.
Egypt: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has added policy adviser Martha Burke to its new account with the Embassy of Egypt. She joins former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.); former chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Nadeam Elshami; veteran Republican lobbyist Marc Lampkin; leading Democratic fundraiser Alfred Mottur; and policy director Douglas Maguire on the account. Burke is also registered to lobby for Saudi Arabia.
Qatar: Portland PR has renewed its $20,000-per-month public relations contract with Qatar’s Government Communications Office. The renewal runs from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Portland has worked for the office since 2014.
In other news
The New York Times has a great piece on all the foreign nations scrambling to hire lobbyists perceived as being close to the incoming Joe Biden administration. Democratic lobbyist Manny Ortiz says he’s heard from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, while another unnamed lobbyist also mentioned Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s backchannel to Washington, parliamentarian Ali Ihsan Arslan, is said to be rethinking whether his ties to the Donald Trump-connected Avenue Strategies will do him much good in the future.
The Department of Justice says it has opened a “record number” of Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) investigations in the past year, The Washington Times reports.