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Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs

C. David Welch

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), headed by Assistant Secretary C. David Welch, deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Regional policy issues that NEA handles include Iraq, Middle East peace, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and political and economic reform. Clickable Map


Provincial Reconstruction Teams: Working at Grassroots Level
Kristin Hagerstrom, Team Leader, and Major Lee Suttee, USMC, Civil Affairs Chief, answer questions on  the Provincial Reconstruction Team [PRT] located in Ramadi, Anbar Province, On Reconstruction Progress in Ramadi, Iraq [State Dept. Photo]Ms. Hagerstrom, Team Leader (Aug. 24):
"Ramadi was written off as lost, in fact ... this was declared by al-Qaeda to be their capital of the caliphate in Iraq. [A]fter the abuse by al-Qaeda, ... the population, led by the sheiks, the local tribal leaders, took them on and helped, ... and joined with coalition forces to push out of the city." [Full Text; View Video

Policy Podcast: U.S. Assistance to the Middle East



U.S. Assistance to the Middle East
Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns: "We'll be going out to the Middle East at some point this month basically to strengthen our security relations with our friends in the Middle East. It's now, I think without any question, the most vital area for the United States, what happens in the Middle East, in Iraq certainly, where we have 160,000 troops in Iran and we're trying to prevent the Iranians from becoming a nuclear weapons power."  [more]

Assistance Agreements with Gulf States, Israel and Egypt
Secretary Rice (July 30):
"Good to have you aboard. All right, I'm very much looking forward to this trip which I will undertake with Secretary Gates. The President asked us to come out to the region for several reasons: first of all, to affirm the importance of this region to the United States and to reaffirm American -- the American commitment to the security of our allies in what is a complicated time. It's a reaffirmation of an American commitment that is decades old." [more]

Press Briefing Conference Call on U.S. Aid and Military Support to the Middle East Region
R. Nicholas Burns (July 30):
"As Secretary Rice and Secretary Gates head for the Middle East this week, we wanted to send a strong signal of support for the security concerns of all of our partners in the region, of Israel, of Egypt, of Saudi Arabia, and of the other Gulf states, the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. And we see this announcement this morning about our future security assistance over the long term to support our broad strategic interest in the Middle East, and that is to maintain a very strong American presence and influence in the region. It is to give specific support to those partners that need it and that's all of them, of course. And it's also a comprehensive step by the United States to address our overall policy objectives in the region." [more]

Middle East Investment Initiative: Launching New Opportunities in the Middle East
From left: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; President Mahmoud Abbas; U.S. Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes; Aspen Institute board member and MEII Chairman, Berl Benhard; Robert Mosbacher,President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); and Palestine investment fund chairman Mohammed Mustafa, sign in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, July 25, 2007. [© AP Images]Under Secretary Hughes (July 25):
"I'm here representing Secretary Rice and President Bush to follow up on the
President's speech last week. President Bush made a commitment that America would expand our support for the Palestinian people and the government of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, and we are here to launch a unique financial partnership to do just that." [full text; Launch of the Initiative]

Middle East Digest
Middle East DigestThe "Middle East Digest" is a collection of excerpts from the U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefings that are related to U.S. foreign policy interests in the Middle East.


Middle East Peace Process
Assistant Secretary Welch held a special briefing in advance of the Secretary's trip to the Middle East, Sept. 18-20.

Section 2207 Report on Iraq Relief and Reconstruction
The Section 2207 Report to Congress is a quarterly report on the use of Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Funds.

In Focus: Middle East 

Under Secretary Burns Travel to Middle East
At the request of the President and Secretary Rice, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns  traveled to Israel August 15-17, 2007. [more]

Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report 2007

Non-Governmental Organizations
Information about applying for a license to work in Iran.

Iraq Reports
Weekly; quarterly: 1227, 2207; national strategy.

Reform in the Region
Middle East Partnership Initiative.
Forum for the Future.

Visit Consular Affairs to keep up with Travel Warnings, travel-related Public Announcements, and other items of interest to travelers.

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