Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says “timely and aggressive” diplomacy needs to be put in place in the Middle East.
Leach, a Republican who represents Iowa’s second congressional district, wants the Bush administration to establish a peace negotiator for the region. “We can’t just let things go on hold,” Leach says. “We have to lead.”
Leach if the United States fails to lead toward peace, other nations will lead the situation in the direction of war and anarchy. “I consider this the most dangerous week in the last generation of American foreign policy,” Leach says.
Leach says the Secretary of State has hundreds of issues to deal with and, as a member of the House Committee on International Affairs, his suggestion is that a negotiator be chosen whose sole responsibility is to press for reconciliation.
Leach says the key to establishing stability in the region for the short term is the introduction of a multi-lateral force in southern Lebanon and though it’s a delicate issue, he says some Israeli hostages may have to be released in exchange for recently detained Hamas officials.
Leach says the bigger issue is the establishment of Palestinian borders that are acceptable to both sides. He says it’s an issue that’s been worked on for decades but it can’t just be ignored.