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APN Welcomes Mitchell Appointment; Obama's First Day Attention to Mideast

APN has called on President Obama to make Middle East peace a top priority for his administration, and the President's first Mideast moves are promising.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 22, 2009
CONTACT:  Ori Nir -  (202) 728-1893
 
Washington, D.C. - Americans for Peace Now (APN) today warmly welcomed the appointment of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as President Obama's special envoy to the Middle East. APN also praised the President for devoting an important part of his first day in the White House to advancing peace and security in the Middle East.

"APN has called on President Obama to make Middle East peace a top priority for his administration, and the President's first Mideast moves are promising. By phoning the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority during his first hours in the Oval Office and by appointing Senator Mitchell as his Middle East envoy on his second day, President Obama is sending a clear signal to Israelis and their Arab neighbors, a signal of determination and commitment to push for regional peace and security," said Debra DeLee, APN's President and CEO.
 
Regarding the appointment of George Mitchell as Obama's special envoy to the region, DeLee noted that "Senator Mitchell is an excellent choice to be the President's special envoy. George Mitchell is not only intimately familiar with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also has a proven record of peacemaking success as President Clinton's special envoy to Northern Ireland. Israelis and Palestinians deserve a Good Friday Agreement of their own. If anyone has the statesmanship and experience to broker such an agreement, it is a person of Senator Mitchell's stature."
 
"The President's actions, his appointments and his statements, have so far been very encouraging. His foreign policy team comes in with a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the region and its complexities. The team's experienced members, under President Obama's committed leadership, are well-positioned to start transforming the Middle East toward stability, security and peace," DeLee said.
 
APN, America's leading pro-Israel, pro-peace organization, recently published a Middle East Blueprint for the first 100 days of the Obama administration. The Blueprint, available on APN's web site, lays out a set of specific measures that the President can and should take from his very first day in office. The blueprint addresses the question of a presidential envoy to the region. It also suggests that the President publicly articulate his commitment to peacemaking in the region. APN is looking forward with anticipation to Barack Obama's first presidential public address on the Middle East, which his staff has indicated will be made soon.
 
APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel's security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement.