Wed May 30, 2012

Conflict in Syria Concerns Colorado Senator

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Colorado Senator Mark Udall is leading a bipartisan delegation of three US senators to the Middle East this week.

While Udall has already visited Israel and Egypt, a lot of his focus has been on the mounting tensions in Syria.

Top Syrian diplomats have been expelled from nine western countries including the US in response to a massacre of over 100 people in the central part of the Middle Eastern nation

Speaking to reporters on a conference call from Cairo, Udall said clashes between rebel forces and Syrian troops is concerning.  However, when asked how Americans are reacting to the escalating violence, he responded that the issue is not of much concern

“Americans are war weary; Americans are focused on our own economy, Americans want us to invest in our future, I don’t think this is at the top of American's list of concerns.”

Udall also said he does not support the US arming of rebel fighters to fight Syrian troops.

"There's also concern still about arming the opposition whom no one really seems to know, even in the region. I do think the regional leadership has to take the lead."

The delegation also met with Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss rising tensions between Israel and Iran, and the upcoming presidential election in Egypt.

The Senator will remain in the Middle East for a few more days, but did not elaborate on the exact locations he'll be visiting. Udall is traveling with Senators Barbara Mikulski (D. MD), Mark Warner (D. VA), and Richard Burr (R. NC.).