Diaz-Balart Visits Iraq: Meets with U.S. Troops, Iraqi Officials
WASHINGTON, DC-Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) is one of six Members of Congress taking part in a Congressional Delegation visit to Iraq and other areas of the region this week. Below are his reactions to the situation in Iraq.
On progress in Iraq: “Things are going very well, but the situation is still delicate. It would be a tragedy if, for political reasons, we abandon these efforts. The results are visible, in comparison to when I was last here. Violence has dropped dramatically, people are opening small businesses and children are playing in the streets,” said Diaz-Balart.
On recent elections: “The recent elections were very positive for the future of Iraq. Those political parties with ties to Iran were defeated. We cannot let Iraq fall into the hands of terrorists, but instead enable it to thrive as a democracy. We must listen to the Iraqi people and their officials who best know the needs of their country,” said Diaz-Balart.
On U.S. troops: “The thing that has impressed me the most is the dedication of the men and women serving in uniform. They are the best and the brightest in our nation and I am impressed by their effort, patriotism and commitment,” said Diaz-Balart.
On getting the job done: “What we are hearing from the U.S. commanders and the Iraqi government is that we are winning. U.S. presence cannot be permanent but things are going very well, and right now is not the time to abandon the cause,” said Diaz-Balart.
Diaz-Balart first visited Iraq in November of 2003. He is joined by Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Bobby Bright (D-AL), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Stephen Cohen (D-TN). The delegation has met with U.S. troops and Iraqi government officials, has toured areas of Iraq including Baghdad, Saab al Bour and U.S. Military Bases, and received briefings on the progress being made in the region.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart with children at a market in Saab Al Bour (outside of Baghdad).
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart with troops at Camp Phoenix, Baghdad.