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Governor Perdue Returns from Middle East Trip

Tuesday, November 29, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue returned from the Middle East yesterday evening following a six-day trip to visit Georgia servicemembers serving in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“To have this footprint of democracy in the Middle East is vital. It is virtually the birthplace of civilization when you think about the Tigris, Euphrates and Mesopotamia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This will have the opportunity to change the world for the future regarding freedom and democracy.”

Governor Perdue visited the Middle East as part of a delegation of four governors, including Governors Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Governor Perdue’s first destination in the region was the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar where he visited Georgia servicemembers assigned to the 116th Air Control Wing. He spent Thanksgiving Day serving a meal to members of the U.S. military stationed in Kuwait and visiting with troops from Georgia’s 48th Brigade.

Governor Perdue traveled to Baghdad on Friday and visited thousands of Georgia servicemembers to personally express his appreciation and support for their service building democracy and winning the global war on terror. Saturday, Governor Perdue traveled to Afghanistan and visited with active duty troops from Georgia and met with President Karzai. He then traveled to Pakistan to witness the earthquake relief efforts. Governor Perdue’s trip concluded in London with a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Holmes Tuttle on Monday.

“Our troops understand the mission, and they are committed to finishing their job to truly birth this democracy. The people of Iraq will determine their future, and have the right to vote for freedom thanks to our servicemen and women,” said Governor Perdue.

During his trip, Governor Perdue received requests from Georgia servicemembers to contact their loved ones and let them know they were safe and doing well. Governor Perdue spent time today making these calls personally.