Corker Completes Middle East Trip With Visits To Oman And Bahrain

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Senator Bob Corker completed a three-nation trip to the Middle East today in Bahrain where he continued to assess U.S. diplomatic and security relations in the Gulf region.  After a visit with U.S. Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski, he met with Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa to discuss the state of U.S.-Bahrain relations and the Crown Prince’s ongoing efforts for political reform and stability amidst continued unrest.

“Bahrain is an important and longstanding U.S. ally, hosting the U.S. 5th Fleet, which plays a significant role in regional stability and protecting the global flow of energy.  It is in our national interest to continue our strong military partnership, ensure the country remains stable and encourage nonviolent reformers on both sides to continue to work together to achieve a political solution to Bahrain’s own internal problems,” said Senator Corker.  

During his visit to Bahrain, Senator Corker also met American service members deployed to Bahrain with the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, including Commander Vice Admiral John W. Miller and sailors and marines from Tennessee.  He then met with Bahrain’s minister of justice, their chief of police and leaders of the nonviolent opposition group al-Wifaq.  Finally, Senator Corker met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who is in Bahrain for the Manama Dialogue, to discuss security challenges and the continued need for U.S. engagement in the region.

On Wednesday in Oman’s capital of Muskat, Senator Corker met with Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah about negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Senator Corker was the first member of Congress to meet Sheikh Khalid bin Hilal bin Nasser al Ma’wali, the first elected chairman of the Omani Consultative Council, which was granted expanded legislative and regulatory powers following popular uprisings associated with the Arab Spring in 2011.

“While I have expressed my concerns about the interim agreement with Iran and how they remain a constant, destabilizing force in other ways in the region, I appreciate Oman’s firm commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue and the role they have played in facilitating negotiations,” said Senator Corker.  “Chairman Khalid al Ma’wali brings intelligence and enthusiasm to his historic role on the Consultative Council.  I support the council’s efforts to give a voice to the people of Oman and hope their members will visit the U.S. soon as they continue to navigate the challenges of representative government.”

Senator Corker also visited with private sector executives from Oman’s oil and gas industry and midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy studying Arabic in Oman.

On Monday and Tuesday, Senator Corker was in Saudi Arabia where he heard concerns about the worsening conflict in Syria as well as Iran’s role in the region.



Decisions Must Be Made Jointly, Signal Council Told During Orientation Session; Deliberations Must Take Place In Public

If a Signal Mountain resident contacts a town council member about a problem, it’s perfectly reasonable for the lone politician to try to get the problem corrected, council members were told during an orientation session. However, town attorney Phil Noblett told them, there’s a right way, and a wrong way,   to go about that – and the wrong way can lead to serious ... (click for more)

Dog Saves Woman From Fire At Highway 58 Area

A homeowner reported that her dog saved her life early Friday morning. At 12:52 a.m. , the homeowner called 911 reporting a fire at 8411 Providence Road (Highway 58 area). The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived reporting a log cabin with flames coming through the roof. Firefighters worked quickly to contain the fire, but it was a challenge due to  ... (click for more)

Don't Be Quick To Discard Common Core

Let's not be too quick to discard Common Core. A recent article in the Tennessean on  Sunday detailed Common Core successes the Kingsport, Tennessee school system.  I encourage you to read it.  The article also noted that Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the fastest improving states in education after implementing portions of the Common Core curriculum ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)

Football Mocs Receive No. 8 Seed For FCS Playoffs

The hugs, high fives and first pumps by the Tennessee at Chattanooga football players late Sunday morning let everyone know in Moc Nation that the Blue and Gold had received a highy-coveted seed and would be hosting a second round NCAA FCS playoff game Dec 6 at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. "When the television announcers called our name as the No.8 seed (out of eight ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)