(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/22/09) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today commended President Obama on his choice of former senator George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East.
Considered a “diplomatic heavyweight,” Mitchell is perhaps best known for negotiating a cease-fire and power-sharing agreements between warring Catholic and Protestant factions in Northern Ireland in the late 1990s.
Mitchell is also known for authoring a 2001 report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was applauded for its balance and became the basis for later peace initiatives.
SEE: Mitchell Will Make a Seasoned Mideast Envoy (CNN)
In remarks today after naming Mitchell, President Obama outlined his vision to “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace” between Israelis and Palestinians. Of the recent assault on Gaza, he said:
“I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days, and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza.
“Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water and basic medical care, and who have faced suffocating poverty for far too long.”
SEE: Obama Lays Out Vision for Middle East Peace (AFP)
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org