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121 U.S. Experts Call on President Obama to Visit Tunisia

121 U.S. Experts Call on President Obama to Visit Tunisia
1611 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW, SUITE 300
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20009
POMED.ORG

July 27, 2016

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As you consider the legacy of your presidency, we urge you to make an official visit to Tunisia, to demonstrate concretely the commitment you made during President Essebsi’s visit in May 2015 that “the United States believes in Tunisia, is invested in its success, and will work as a steady partner for years to come.”

Your visit to Tunisia would energize and reassure Tunisia’s citizens and political leaders, sending a powerful signal of American support as the country struggles with the enormous challenges of building accountable institutions and a democratic society.

In 2009 in Cairo, you inspired citizens across the Middle East and North Africa by declaring a commitment to “common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” In the Arab world today, Tunisia stands alone as the one country where those principles of justice, progress, and tolerance have prevailed against all odds over the past five years.

Your Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said in January that you would seek to consolidate your foreign policy legacy this year by traveling widely and by working with allies to combat extremism and foster the rise of emerging democracies.

There is no more important example of an emerging democracy in the world today than Tunisia, which has achieved historic progress through compromise and consensus-building. It is impossible to overstate the value that a successful transition to democracy in Tunisia could have for the entire region.

In addition, Tunisia is both the newest major non-NATO U.S. ally and an important partner in the counter-ISIL coalition that, with U.S. support, is demonstrating increasing effectiveness at fighting extremism at home and across its borders.

A visit to Tunisia would allow you to highlight a rare example of progress in countering extremism in a region too often defined by rising extremism and violent conflict.

Finally, Tunisia presents a unique opportunity in a difficult election-year climate here at home, as a positive story that enjoys bipartisan support in Congress and as a North African country where both the government and the people want greater U.S. engagement. We strongly urge you to travel to Tunisia to demonstrate the depth of U.S. support for its historic democratic transition and to underscore your administration’s commitment to its success as a model in the Arab world.

Sincerely,

Stephen McInerney
Executive Director, POMED

Ambassador Gordon Gray, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 2009-2012

Ambassador Rust Deming, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 2001-2003

Ambassador John T. McCarthy, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 1991-1994

Joseph Lieberman
U.S. Senator, 1989-2013

Jane Harman
U.S. Congresswoman, 1993-1999, 2001-2011

Jim Kolbz
U.S. Congressman, 1985-2007

Nancy Johnson
U.S. Congresswoman, 1983-2007

Jim Moody
U.S. Congressman, 1983-1993

Anne-Marie Slaughter
Director of Policy Planning
U.S Department of State, 2009-2011

Amb. Frank G. Wisner, Ret.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy 1994-1997

J. Brian Atwood
Administrator, USAID , 1993-1999

Ambassador Michael McFaul, Ret.
Special Assistant to the President & Senior
Director National Security Council, 2009-2012

Amb. Richard Murphy, Ret.
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern
and South Asian Affairs, 1983-1989

Patricia Dennis
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights, & Labor, 1992-1993

Lorne Craner
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights, & Labor, 2001-2004

Michael Posner
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights, & Labor, 2009-2013

Amb. William Taylor, Ret.
Special Coordinator for Middle East
Transitions, 2012-2014
Amb. Ronald L. Schlicher, Ret.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 2008-2011

Amb. Edward William Gnehm, Jr., Ret.
Deputy Asst. Secretary of State for
Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
1989-1990

Amb. David Mack, Ret.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 1990-1993

Allen Keiswetter
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 2000-2001

Tamara Cofman Wittes
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 2009-2012

Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq
2007-2009

Ambassador Robert Ford, Ret.
U.S. Amb. to Algeria, 2006-2008

Amb. Thomas Nassif, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Morocco 1985-1988

Amb. Kurt Volker, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to NATO, 2008-2009

Jennifer Windsor
Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director, Center
for Democracy and Governance, USAID, 1998-2000

Joel Rubin
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
Legislative Affairs, 2014-2015

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Ret.
President
Freedom House

Elisa Massimino
President & CEO
Human Rights First

Christopher J. Griffin
Executive Director
Foreign Policy Initiative

Michele Dunne
Director & Senior Associate, Middle East Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Francis Fukuyama
Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow
Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

Marwan Muasher
Vice President for Studies
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ellen Laipson
President Emeritus & Distinguished Fellow
Stimson Center

Alfred Stepan
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Wallace Sayre Professor of Government,
Columbia University, Emeritus

Steven Heydemann
Janet W. Ketchum Prof. of Middle East Studies
Smith College

Perry Cammack
Associate, Middle East Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Caroline Freund
Senior Fellow
Peterson Institute for International Economics

Charles Dunne
Non-Resident Scholar
Middle East Institute

Stephen Grand
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Project on U.S. Relations
with the Islamic World, Brookings Institution
Paul Salem
Vice President for Policy and Research
Middle East Institute

James Denton
Publisher and Editor
World Affairs Journal

Daniel Brumberg
Assoc. Prof., Department of Government
Georgetown University

Sarah Yerkes
Visiting Fellow, Ctr. for Middle East Policy
Brookings Institution

Mohamed Malouche
Chairman of the Board
Tunisian American Young Professionals

Radwan Masmoudi
President
Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

Neil Brown
Nonresident Fellow
German Marshall Fund

Alexander M. Djerassi
Former Nonresident Associate
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

John Entelis
Professor of Political Science
Fordham University

Karim Mezran
Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center
for the Middle East, Atlantic Council

Daniel Serwer
Professor, School of Adv. Int. Studies
Johns Hopkins University

Hardin Lang
Senior Fellow
Center for American Progress

Juan Cole
Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor
of History, University of Michigan

Amaney Jamal
Director, Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for
Peace and Justice, Princeton University

Anouar Boukhars
Nonresident Scholar, Middle East Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Eva Bellin
Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab
Politics, Brandeis University

Daniele Moro
Executive Director
U.S.-Italy Global Affairs Forum

Monica Marks
Ph.D. Candidate
Oxford University

Radwan Ziadeh
Fellow
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Ambassador William J. Burns, Ret.
Deputy Secretary of State, 2011-2014

Ambassador WilliamJ. Hudson, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 2004-2006

Ambassador Robin Raphel, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 1998-2000

Ambassador Walter L. Cutler, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 1982-1984

Howard Berman
U.S. Congressman, 1983-2013

David Dreier
U.S. Congressman, 1981-2013

Lynn Woolsey
U.S. Congresswoman, 1993-2013

Robert “Bud” Cramer
U.S. Congressman 1991-2009

Benjamin Chandler
U.S. Congressman, 2004-2013

Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Ret.
Amb. at Large for Global Women’s Issues,
2009-2013

Amb. Paul Wolfowitz, Ret.
Deputy Secretary of Defense, 2001-2005

Admiral Dennis Blair, Ret.
U.S. Director of National Intelligence, 2009-2010

Ambassador Miriam Sapiro
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
2009-2014

Amb. Edward S. Walker Jr., Ret.
Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern Affairs, 2000-2001

John Shattuck
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights, & Labor, 1993-1998

David Kramer
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights, & Labor, 2008-2009

Brian Hook
Assistant Secretary of State for
International Organization Affairs, 2008-2009

Amb. James B. Cunningham, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan,
2011-2013
Amb. James Larocco, Ret.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Near Eastern Affairs, 2001-2004

Amb. Philip Wilcox Jr., Ret.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs,
1987-1988

Toni Verstandig
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 1994-2001

Scott Carpenter
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 2004-2007

Nazanin Ash
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs, 2012-2014

Ambassador William A. Rugh, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
1992-1995

Ambassador Cameron Hume, Ret.
U.S. Amb. to Algeria 1997-2000

Amb. E. Michael Ussery, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Morocco 1989-1992

Amb. Stephen Seche, Ret.
U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, 2007-2010

Jim Phippard
Director of USAID Mission in Tunisia
1982-1987

Benjamin Fishman
Director for North Africa & Jordan
National Security Council, 2012-2013

Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, Ret.
President
AMIDEAST

Richard Fontaine
President
Center for New American Security

W. Bowman Cutter
Director, Next American Economy
Project, Roosevelt Institute

Robert Kagan
Senior Fellow, Project on International
Order & Strategy, Brookings Institution

Thomas Carothers
Vice President for Studies
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Amy Hawthorne
Deputy Director for Research
Project on Middle East Democracy

Haleh Esfandiari
Former & Founding Director, Middle East Program
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Larry Diamond
Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution,
Stanford University

Ted Piccone
Senior Fellow, Project on International Order & Strategy
Brookings Institution

Kate Seelye
Senior Vice President
Middle East Institute

Shadi Hamid
Senior Fellow, Project on U.S. Relations with the
Islamic World, Brookings Institution

Jeffrey Gedmin
Senior Fellow
Georgetown University

Heather Hurlburt
Director, New Models of Policy Change Initiative
New America
Henri Barkey
Director, Middle East Program
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Neil Hicks
Director, Human Rights Promotion
Human Rights First

Andrew Albertson
Senior Governance Advisor
International Peace and Security Institute

Kathy Bailey
Principal
King Street Strategies

Jerry Sorkin
Founder and President
TunisUSA

William Lawrence
Prof. of Political Science and
International Affairs, George Washington University

Ellen Lust
Professor, Dept. of Political Science,
University of Gothenburg

Leila Hilal
Senior Fellow, International Security Program
New America

Ellen Bork
Senior Fellow
Foreign Policy Initiative

Cole Bockenfeld
Deputy Director for Policy
Project on Middle East Democracy

Sarah Feuer
Soref Fellow
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

I. William Zartman
Professor Emeritus, School of Advanced International
Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Nancy Okail
Executive Director
Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Randa Slim
Director, Track II Dialogue Initiative
Middle East Institute

John L. Esposito
Professor of Religion & International
Affairs, Georgetown University

Joseph Bahout
Visiting Scholar, Middle East Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Wayne White
Scholar
Middle East Institute

Nader Hashemi
Director, Center for Middle East
Studies, University of Denver

*All affiliations included for identification purposes only.

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