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Rubio to Israel and Jordan

10:52 AM, Feb 16, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In a statement posted to his website, Florida senator Marco Rubio announced that he's leaving today for Israel and Jordan. "Today, I am departing to the Middle East on an official trip in my capacities as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Foreign Relations Committee. I will be visiting Jordan and Israel," writes Rubio. "This will be my first visit to Jordan and my second to Israel."

Rubio explains who he'll be meeting with:

In Jordan, I look forward to meeting with King Abdullah as well as other members of the Jordanian government, which remains among our most loyal allies in the region in trade, cultural exchanges and especially in combatting terrorism. I am also interested in learning more firsthand about the impact the Syrian civil war and how the humanitarian crisis that has resulted is impacting Jordan and the region. 
 
As is customary in each country I visit on official business, I will visit America's embassy to meet with the brave men and women stationed there from our foreign service, military and intelligence services and receive a country briefing from each. 
 
In Israel, I look forward to meeting with our embassy, military and intelligence personnel as well, followed by visits with Israeli political, defense, intelligence and business leaders. I am especially looking forward to meeting with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss various areas of mutual interest, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. I also look forward to meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad.

And he writes, "America's friendship with Israel is a truly special one, and we must continue to do all we can to support this beacon of democracy, religious freedom and free enterprise in the heart of an unstable region. As Iran continues its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, we must continue to apply pressure through every possible means in order to prevent a nuclear Iran. And I look forward to assessing the impact American security assistance is having and discussing the importance of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and how we can maintain it during this time of great uncertainty and tumult in Egypt."

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