US House speaker Paul Ryan arrives in Israel for official visit

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan arrived in Israel Sunday accompanied by a delegation of both senior Democratic and Republican house lawmakers.

According to a statement from Ryan’s office in Washington, this is the first visit by Ryan to a foreign nation since he assumed the position of Speaker of the House last October.

The US delegation will meet with senior Israeli officials to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries as well as security issues affecting the region and the world.

In the statement on his website, Ryan said that “I’m proud that my first trip as speaker is a return to Israel. At this critical moment, it is essential that we reaffirm the historic alliance between our two nations and work together to address the mutual security threats that we face.”

Accompanying Ryan is Rep. Mac Thornberry (R), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Rep. Greg Meeks (D), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, among others.

Ryan, 46, holds the most powerful job in Congress and is second in line to the presidency after the vice president, should the commander-in-chief be impeached or otherwise vacate the Oval Office.