Peoria Journal-Star

January 8, 2002

LaHood will travel to Middle East 

By Copley News Service 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood leaves Wednesday for a nine-day congressional trip to the Middle East and East Africa. 

The Peoria Republican will visit Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Israel as part of a five-member congressional delegation led by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo. 

The group is expected to meet with Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and other government officials. 

The delegation also will visit U.S. officials, United Nations staff and business leaders. 

"With tensions very high in the Middle East, this trip will provide an excellent opportunity to receive first-hand information on the current situation," said LaHood, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. 

"This will also provide the delegation an opportunity to discuss with Middle Eastern leaders the ongoing war on terrorism, as well as the United States’ commitment to peace in the region," he said.