The world is interconnected like never before, and U.S. foreign policy must reflect the needs of this interdependence. Our foreign policy should encourage economic and democratic growth and protect national security. While maintaining our sovereignty, the U.S. supports the efforts of international organizations in peacekeeping and crisis management. As a partner for peace, the U.S. can assist in negotiations in the troubled regions of the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. Northern Ohio has a proud immigrant tradition that has enriched our community with diverse and worldly citizens.
As co-chair of both Congressional Hungarian-American Caucus and the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and a member of the Congressional Caucus on Poland and the Congressional Caucus on Central and Eastern Europe, I am very active in helping the emerging democracies. In addition, the opportunity to create partnerships between our area and Eastern Europe can strengthen both regions culturally and economically. Also, much has been done to recognize those who lost their lives in the fight against oppression by commemorating the Holocaust, the Great Ukrainian Famine in 1933, and the Katyn Massacre. It is important that we remember and honor all those who lost their lives and suffered at the hands of Nazi and Soviet oppression.
China's booming economy and vast population present unique economic and security challenges and opportunities for the United States. China is ever-present on the Congressional agenda, whether it’s food safety, currency manipulation, and intellectual property violations. As a Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, I participate in hearings, briefings, and other activities that highlight the current situation with respect to human rights, rule of law, and transparency.
Conflict in the Middle East is one of the most vexing diplomatic issues in the world. As a superpower, the United States has the opportunity and responsibility to help bring stability to this volatile and strategic region. The U.S. must be an honest broker for peace and revisit a peace process. We must encourage people-to-people contact in the region so we can eliminate hatred and highlight common bonds between neighbors. The pathway to peace can be paved by grass-roots diplomacy in addition to governmental compromise. I believe that peace in the region is possible if all sides distance themselves from extremism and open themselves to frank dialogue. The United States can help usher in a new era of hope for the region and the world.
Iran is on the precipice. It is nearing nuclear weapons capabilities while at the same time facing a popular democratic uprising from its own people. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran would destabilize an already volatile region. Diplomacy, not military action, should be used to deal with Iran. Additional sanctions may be a useful tool in keeping Iran in check, but the U.S. must ensure that the democratic movement is not suffocated. The problem is the oppressive and fanatical Iranian regime and not the overwhelmingly pro-western people of Iran.
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