Former US Ambassadors and Middle East experts endorse Biden for President
Former Vice President Joe Biden received a strong letter of endorsement for his candidacy for President of the United States from 52 former U.S. Ambassadors and Middle East experts.
The letter was released Thursday Oct. 9, 2020 and comes in the wake of the release of Biden’s comprehensive and unprecedented platform six-page policy paper recognizing the rights of Arab Americans. Click here to read the policy Paper.
Here is the letter and the signatories:
The United States has lost the trust and friendship of many countries, alienated close allies, emboldened adversaries, empowered the world’s worst abusers of human rights, and has enacted policies that undermine our interests in regional stability and advancing peace. All of us have served in or studied the Middle East for years and have a deep commitment to maintaining America’s ties with our friends and challenging those who would deprive people of their rights.
That is why we support Joe Biden for President. His long record of service is laudatory to many. Although we don’t agree with everything he’s done in his long record of public service, we know that he will advance America’s national security interests, promote the rule of law, and protect minorities and human rights at home and in the MENA region. We are confident that VP Biden will lead us away from inflammatory rhetoric and actions, the unconditional embrace of abusive rulers, and policies that undermine American national security.
Protecting fundamental human rights worldwide contributes to a safer U.S. at home. We believe that as President, Joe Biden will take immediate steps to demonstrate that the United States is prepared to be an example to the world again, and to defend and advance human rights and other democratic values that are essential to protecting freedom and justice.
We believe a Biden administration will work with civil society and the citizens of Lebanon to assist them to develop and implement an economic and political future for their country that is free of corruption, and which reflects the will of its people. The U.S. will continue to support the Lebanese Armed Forces as an essential pillar of stability for the entire country, while also providing assistance for recovery from the explosion at the Beirut port. His administration will support communities in Lebanon and Jordan that are hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees.
Joe Biden believes in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli, and will work to advance freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy for Palestinians and Israelis. His policies will be grounded in a commitment to a two-state solution where Israel and the future viable state of Palestine will live together in peace, security, economic prosperity, and mutual recognition. VP Biden opposes any unilateral steps by either side that undermine a two-state solution, including annexation and settlement expansion. And he will reinstate aid to the Palestinian people.
Joe Biden will urge regional partners to end harmful policies, including ending support for the Saudi-UAE coalition waging the tragic war in Yemen, the crackdown on dissent, and the targeting of female activists, dissidents, and journalists. VP Biden and his team will recommit the United States to standing with civil society and pro-democracy partners on the ground.
We know Joe Biden will lead the United States in a global coalition to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. He will elevate U.S. diplomacy in order to shape political settlements and give citizens a voice in developing political solutions to the many conflicts in the region. This includes countering Iran’s efforts to infringe on the sovereignty of Iraq and reducing its influence in Syria.
These challenges will not be easy to address and overcome, and although each country faces its own unique issues, the core complaints of poverty, corruption, and a scarcity of freedoms are a common challenge. Joe Biden will direct his administration to work with the citizens of the MENA region to support them as they develop and implement an economic and political future for their country.
It is for these reasons among many others that we believe that Joe Biden has the integrity, knowledge, and understanding to initiate and support policies that protect America’s interests and security, while enabling the people of the region to achieve their aspirations for stability, security, prosperity, and justice. Please join us in supporting Vice President Biden in his campaign to become the next President of the United States.
Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Former Ambassador to Malta
Jean R. AbiNader, Executive Director, Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center
Bassima Alghussein, CEO, Alghussein Global Strategies
Jon B. Alterman, Former Member, State Department Policy Planning Staff
Wa’el Alzayat, Former Senior Policy Adviser, USUN
Daniel Benaim, Former Middle East Advisor to Vice President Biden
Barbara K. Bodine, Former Ambassador to Yemen
Amy Bondurant, Former Ambassador to the OECD
Dwight Bush, Former Ambassador to Morocco
Thanassis Cambanis, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Maura Connelly, Former Ambassador to Lebanon; Former DAS, NEA, State Department
Frances D. Cook, Former Ambassador to Burundi, Cameroon, and Oman
Ryan Crocker, Former Ambassador to Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan
Robert Dillon, Former Ambassador to Lebanon
Jasmine M. El-Gamal, Former Middle East Advisor, Department of Defense
Gerald M. Feierstein, Former Ambassador to Yemen; Former P-DAS, NEA, State Department
Jeffrey Feltman, Former Ambassador to Lebanon; Former UNUSG for Political Affairs; A/S, NEA, State Department
Robert Ford, Former Ambassador to Algeria and Syria
Edward M. Gabriel, Former Ambassador to Morocco
Edward W. Gnehm, Former Ambassador to Kuwait, Australia, and Jordan
Gordon Gray, Former Ambassador to Tunisia
Michael Wahid Hanna, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Robert M. Holley, Foreign Service Officer, Ret.
Edmund J. Hull, Former Ambassador to Yemen
Beth Jones, Former Ambassador to Kazakhstan; Former Acting A/S, NEA, State Department
Deborah K. Jones, Former Ambassador to Kuwait and Libya
Samuel L. Kaplan, Former Ambassador to Morocco
Theodore Kattouf, Former Ambassador to the UAE and Syria
Nabeel Khoury, Career Foreign Service, Ret.; Former Director, Near East South Asia, INR, State Department
Thomas C. Krajeski, Former Ambassador to Yemen and Bahrain
Richard LeBaron, Former Ambassador to Kuwait
John Limbert, Former Ambassador to Mauritania; Former DAS, NEA, State Department
Charles Lister, Director, Syria & Countering Terrorism, Middle East Institute
David L. Mack, Former Ambassador to the UAE; Former DAS, NEA, State Department
Don Mell, Middle East Journalist, Ret.
Jomana Qaddour, Middle East Policy Expert
Dafna H. Rand, Former DAS, DRL, State Department
Dan K. Rosenthal, Former Assistant to the President
Mara Rudman, Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security
William A. Rugh, Former Ambassador to Yemen and the UAE
Janet A. Sanderson, Former Ambassador to Algeria; Former DAS, NEA, State Department
Dana Shell Smith, Former Ambassador to Qatar
Ariane Tabatabai, Adjunct Research Scholar, Columbia University
Nicholas A. Veliotes, Former Ambassador to Jordan and Egypt
Frederick Vreeland, Former Ambassador to Morocco
Marcelle M. Wahba, Former Ambassador to the UAE
Edward S. Walker, Former Ambassador to Egypt, Israel, and the UAE; Former A/S, NEA, State; Former Dep. Permrep, UN
Jonathan Winer, Former US Special Envoy for Libya
Frank Wisner, Former Ambassador to Egypt, Zambia, the Philippines, and India; Former U/S Defense; Former U/S State
Ramy Yaacoub, Executive Director, The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
Susan L. Ziadeh, Former Ambassador to Qatar; Former DAS, NEA, State Department
James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
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