Augusta Free Press

Tim Kaine statement on end of congressional visit to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement today at the conclusion of a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Four days of intense dialogue with Saudi Arabian, Qatari, Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as representatives of moderate Syrian opponents of the brutal Assad regime, offered significant insight into a range of tough challenges in the region – challenges that Congress will be addressing soon.

“We must continue to support efforts to battle extremism in the region, whether by ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or Hamas. We must continue to seek an end to the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons. We must stand against efforts to discredit Israel in international forums. We must continue to insist that Israel and Palestine do the hard work to find a path to peaceful co-existence. And we must continue to do what Americans do to an unprecedented degree – provide humanitarian aid to suffering people such as those fleeing violence in Syria.

“These are hard problems. And while they can occasionally seem far away, I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words – ‘we may have arrived on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.’ This visit of seven Senators – four Republicans, two Democrats and one Independent – reminds me anew that American leadership is necessary and strongly desired by the people of the region.”
Delegation members included Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Angus King (I-ME).