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Congressman Cole, More Optimistic After Latest Trip to Iraq

March 10, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole, who returned Monday from his fourth trip to Iraq, said he was much more optimistic about the situation in Iraq and the future of the Iraqi people then he was in previous trips to the country. Cole had the opportunity to lead a group of congressman to Iraq, Jordan and Germany over the past weekend to make post election observations and meet with foreign leaders. They returned yesterday with enthusiasm on the progress of the American troops and the strong will of the Iraqi people.

"The morale over there is at the highest I have seen it, and I think that has to do with three key events: the victory in Fallujah, the successful elections and the continued high rate of Iraqis volunteering to serve as security forces. Things are looking up in Iraq and I think now time is on our side," Congressman Tom Cole said.

While in Iraq, the Congressional Delegation met with Ambassador Negroponte who will soon assume the role as the Director of National Intelligence. They also met with interim President Al-Yawer and the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Barham Salih. The group stopped in Baghdad, Fallujah and Tikrit. They also visited an Iraqi Police Training Center, wounded troops in Germany and had dinner with Oklahoma troops while in Iraq.

"Every time I visit Iraq, I am even more amazed at strength and character of the American troops. They are very passionate about the work they are doing," Congressman Tom Cole said. "One thing they request is that we take care of their families. Also they love to hear from people back home. If you have a chance to write to a soldier serving in Iraq, I know they would greatly appreciate it."