Last week, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Burr traveled to Israel and Egypt where he visited with foreign officials to discuss regional security and stability. He also visited Camp Lemonnier, and met with U.S. Soldiers from Combined Joint Task Force -- Horn of Africa. Also on the trip were Senators Udall (D-CO), Mikulski (D-MD), and Warner (D-VA).
"This is a critical moment for the Middle East," Senator Burr said. "The region has tremendous potential. I am encouraged by what by all accounts appears to be a free and fair presidential election in Egypt and the establishment of a coalition government in Israel. Despite these positive signs, I am very troubled by the growing Iranian nuclear threat to the region and concerned by continued violence in the Sinai."
The Senators, all members of the Intelligence Committee, traveled to Israel, Egypt, and Djibouti. In Israel, the delegation met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials including Defense Minister Barak and National Security Advisor Admidror. These meetings provided the opportunity to restate America's strong support for Israel in light of the Iranian threat. The Senators also met with Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other senior officials.
"While in Israel, I had the opportunity to reassure the Prime Minister and other officials of our support for their nation and their goal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and I stand ready to work with them in furtherance of their efforts," Senator Burr said.
Following their stop in Israel, the Senators traveled to Egypt -- only days after the country's first democratic presidential election in modern history. The delegation met with members of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, members of the Shura Council, and visited Tahrir Square. These meetings provided the opportunity to discuss the recent election, transition plans, and security in the Sinai Peninsula.
After Egypt, the delegation visited U.S. troops stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier supports approximately 2,500 U.S., joint and allied forces military and civilian personnel and U.S. Department of Defense contractors, and Senator Burr enjoyed the opportunity to meet with several North Carolina based personnel.