Richardson moots Baker for Mideast

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said that as president he would name a special envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, possibly James Baker.

Speaking Wednesday in Washington at a National Jewish Democrat Council forum of presidential candidates, Richardson said he would send envoys to trouble spots even before he was inaugurated, and would pursue bipartisanship. “I could see myself sending former Secretary of State James Baker if I were president,” he later elaborated to reporters.

Baker served under Bush’s father and had tense relations with Israel, saying the Jewish state was not doing enough to advance peace; some in the Jewish community see his name as code for pressuring Israel. Richardson said he also would increase military and economic assistance to Israel.

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