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US: 33 ex-ambassadors to Middle East endorse Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden takes photos with people in the crowd at a campaign event at the Hyatt Park community center on May 4, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina [Sean Rayford/Getty Images]
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden takes photos with people in the crowd at a campaign event at the Hyatt Park community center on May 4, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina [Sean Rayford/Getty Images]

Thirty-three former US ambassadors to the Middle East have signed a letter endorsing democratic nominee Joe Biden for president, Al-Arabiya reports.

The letter said the US had “lost the trust and friendship of many countries, alienated close allies, emboldened adversaries” during current President Donald Trump’s four-year term.

The signatories were confident Biden would be able to reverse the damage.

They said the democratic nominee would “advance America’s national security interests, promote the rule of law and protect minorities and human rights at home and in the [Middle East and North Africa] region.”

The diplomats and policy experts also touched on the issues of Yemen, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine.

Biden, according to the letter, would end support for the Saudi-UAE coalition embroiled in Yemen’s civil war and work to tackle the issue of gender rights in the region.

The democratic nominee would also restart aid payments, halted by Trump in 2018, to the Palestinian people, the letter claimed.

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The endorsers, which include former Middle East advisor to Vice-President Biden, Daniel Benaim, as well as former diplomats Robert Ford and Ryan Croker, went on to criticise the policies of the current administration, without mentioning President Trump by name.

Instead, the letter said, Biden “will lead us away from inflammatory rhetoric and actions, the unconditional embrace of abusive rulers and policies that undermine American national security.”

Trump has made several unorthodox policy decisions during his four-year term, including withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which was negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Biden and the Democrats have said they would be willing to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.

Washington, meanwhile, has also exerted a maximum pressure campaign on Iran, ostensibly aimed at draining the Islamic Republic’s resources, which have previously been used to fund militias and proxies worldwide.

The Democrats have also raised concerns over Trump’s policies concerning Israel and Palestine which, they say, has been biased in favour of the occupation state.

Signing off, the former diplomats said they felt Biden had “the integrity, knowledge and understanding to initiate and support policies that protect America’s interests and security… while enabling the people of the region to achieve their aspirations for stability, security, prosperity and justice.”

The US election is due to take place on 3 November.

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