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Entries in Bill Richardson (3)

Sunday
May052013

Bill Richardson: U.S. Military Strikes Against Syria are ‘In the Cards’

Kris Connor/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an appearance on ABC’s This Week, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said that American military strikes against Syria are likely, an opinion echoed by several other officials.

“I think [President Obama] signaled that he’s ready to use that military action,” Richardson said. “We can’t have boots on the ground, but I think potentially some kind of option like air strikes against some of those weapons sites to protect the rebels are in the cards, in my view.”

“Now, I think what happened with Israel is, Israel is also sending a signal to Iran, to Hezbollah, possibly to us too, that the situation right in the Syrian area is getting very, very tense.” He continued.

Syrian television is reporting that Israeli warplanes have struck a second set of targets within Syria. This would be the second such strike within 48 hours. An Iranian military official said that Hezbollah will respond to these Israeli strikes, and Israel has moved two of its famous Iron Dome anti-missile batteries into the north and near the borders of Syria and Lebanon.

Western intelligence sources say the strike was an attempt to stop a shipment of Iranian-made missiles heading to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Democratric Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said that the apparent success of the Israeli strikes means that the regime's defense systems aren't impenetrable, indicating that an air-based American response could prove effective.

“I think the fact that they were able to go in there shows that perhaps the Russian-supplied air defense systems are not as good as were said,” Leahy said.

Senator John McCain is among those advocating the need for a definite response while avoiding putting troops on the ground.

“We need to have a game-changing action and that is no American boots on the ground, establish a safe zone, and to protect it and to supply weapons to the right people,” said McCain while on Fox News Sunday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Bill Richardson in Cuba to Win American Contractor's Release

Kris Connor/Getty Images(HAVANA) -- Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson arrived in Cuba Wednesday to try to win the release of American contractor Alan Gross, who has been detained there since December 2009.

“We are a aware of Gov. Richardson’s trip to Cuba and have been in contact with him,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.  ”While Gov. Richardson is traveling as private citizen, we certainly support his efforts to obtain Alan Gross’s release.”

Nuland said there are no U.S. officials traveling with the former governor, who has also served as the American ambassador to the United Nations, a U.S. congressman, and the U.S. energy secretary, and that he is not carrying any official messages from the administration.

Gross worked as a contractor for the United States Agency for International Development and was detained in Cuba in December 2009 after distributing satellite communications equipment to the island’s Jewish population without permission from the Cuban government.  He was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year, and Cuba’s Supreme Court upheld the decision last month.

Gross’ lawyer Peter Kahn said that he and the Gross family are hopeful the Cuban government will release him.

“We are pleased that the Cuban government invited Governor Richardson to Havana,” Kahn said in a statement on behalf of the family.  “We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan’s release.  We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts.  We hope that the Governor and Cuban authorities are able to find common ground that will allow us to be reunited as a family before the Jewish High Holy Days.”

Gross’ family has appealed for his release on humanitarian grounds.  He suffers from diabetes and is said to have lost a lot of weight in prison.  His wife and daughter have also had medical problems in the past year.

Richardson, who attempted a presidental run in 2008, has previously secured the release of several other Americans detained abroad.  In 1996, he negotiated the release of an American pilot who, along with other Red Cross workers, had been taken hostage in Sudan.  In 2008, he won the release of an American journalist detained in Sudan.  He has also secured the release of Americans in Iraq and North Korea and was involved in discussions to release Americans held in Colombia and Kashmir.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec192010

UN Security Council to Meet over Korean Tensions

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(UNITED NATIONS) -- The U.N. Security Council is meeting Sunday in an emergency session to discuss the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea plans an artillery exercise this week from the same island that North Korea shelled last month.

The North has warned of a "catastrophe" if the exercise is held.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has met with top leaders in North Korea, has called for "self-restraint" by both countries.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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