Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar Assad (AP)
Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), opening statement, SFRC Iraq hearing, July 19, 2007:
"We have to consider how diplomacy can change the equation in the region in ways that enhance our prospects for success in Iraq.
"Regional diplomacy is not just an accompaniment to our efforts in Iraq. It is a pre-condition for the success of any policy that follows the surge. We cannot sustain a successful policy in Iraq over the long term unless we repair alliances, recruit more international participation in Iraq, anticipate refugee flows, prevent regional aggression, generate new basing options, and otherwise prepare for future developments. If we have not made substantial diplomatic progress by the time a post-surge policy is implemented, our options will be severely constrained, and we will be guessing at a viable course in a rapidly evolving environment.
"I believe the most promising diplomatic approach would be to establish a consistent forum related to Iraq that is open to all parties in the Middle East."