Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) spoke with Alhurra’s Congressional Correspondent Rana Abtar about his upcoming trip to Jordan and Israel, where he hopes to meet with leaders to understand their views of the Syrian conflict. The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee stated that that his goal is to get “a very comprehensive look at the region, first-hand, and look at some of the challenges as well.”
In Jordan Sen. Menendez will attend the World Economic Forum as well as visit a Syrian refugee camp where he will meet with both coordinators and residents of the camp. He also hopes to meet with one of the Syrian opposition leaders. In Israel Sen. Menendez will meet with both Israeli and Palestinian officials, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas economic and security issues.
When asked about Russia’s role in Syria, Sen. Menendez stated, “I am skeptical about the Russians’ real desire to achieve a peaceful settlement that recognizes that Assad is unlikely to be able to stay. But I think you have to explore the possibilities…I am not overly optimistic about that particular effort, but I think it is worthy of pursuing.”