Cantor Delegation Tours Middle East

By JTA

Published January 13, 2012.
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A congressional delegation led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) discussed Iran with U.S. allies in the region.

The group held meetings with foreign officials in Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“It is clear from our discussions in Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that we all strongly share concerns about the threat posed by Iran, as well as the strategic goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability,” said Cantor, the House majority leader. “It is a matter of finding the best means to that end, and coordinating our efforts with our partners in the region.”

The members of Congress participating in the trip include chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chairwoman Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.).

In addition to discussing methods for confronting Iran, the congressional group highlighted matters pertaining to Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on protestors and civilians in Syria.

Ros-Lehtinen emphasized that “it is important that all of our regional partners make every effort to crack down on extremism, and to increase pressure on Iran,” while Granger noted that the “mutual concern of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranians is shared by each of the countries we have visited.”


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