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Baker: Israel is Reliable Source of Strength for the U.S. in the Mideast

Sen. Howard Baker (R. Tenn.), who is seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, told a group of Jewish leaders here today that Israel is “the one reliable source of strength” for the United States in the Middle East and it is essential, for reasons of national security, that America continue its support of Israel.

Reiterating his dedication to a secure and strong Jewish State, Baker, the Senate minority leader, who addressed a meeting sponsored by the American Jewish Committee at AJ Committee headquarters, said that in his view the crises in Iran and Afghanistan underline “the importance of Israel to vital American national interests. “He added; “The relationship of necessity between Israel and America is now greater than ever.”

Declaring that the United States should “convince” the world that it is willing to protect its vital interests in the Mideast, Baker said Israel should become the “linchpin” of American strategy in the Mideast.

After the meeting was over Baker was asked by reporters if he favors the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said that although he recognizes. Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital he is not prepared to call for the transfer of the Embassy because the move “will create complications for both the United States and Israel.”