Friday, July 14, 2006

Hagel Press Release on the Middle East

Senator Hagel's office issued this press release yesterday:
Hagel Statement on the Current Situation in the Middle East

July 14th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, released the following statement today regarding the on-going violence between Israel and Hezbollah in the Middle East:

“We are at a moment of crisis in the Middle East. If the current violence spreads beyond Israel and Lebanon, the consequences for the region and the world are enormous. The instability in Iraq, tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, the rise of terrorism and its support by Syria and Iran, and growing domestic pressure on Arab governments have created dangerous instabilities in the Middle East. In this fragile situation, an escalation of violence could produce a region-wide conflict that engulfs United States and the rest of the world, particularly with the world’s dependence on Middle East energy. The United States must quickly and actively help stabilize and work to de-escalate this dangerously volatile situation. Within this moment of crisis is an opportunity for focused and creative diplomacy. Working with the nations of the region and our allies we can concentrate our efforts to build a stronger consensus against those who support terrorism.

“The United States must show leadership and directly engage this crisis. The President should send someone of global stature, credibility and experience, such as General Colin Powell or former Secretary of State James Baker, to the Middle East to act as his personal envoy. The United States is the only country with the ability to lead a coalition to prevent the region from spiraling out of control,” Hagel said.
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