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Founding director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian today joined 49 former U.S. Ambassadors and senior officials from the Defense and State Departments and the National Intelligence Council to express support "strongly and without qualification" of the nomination of Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense.

In a historic letter to the Senate delivered Jan. 16, 2013, the signers cited their experiences serving Democratic and Republican presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama and working with Sen. Hagel on national security issues over two decades. They commended the nominee's unwavering support for a strong military; a commitment to the security of Israel, as a friend and ally; and a determination to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The letter highlights Hagel's strong support for Israel and a two-state solution, and his opposition to anything that would undermine Israel's security. The signers included six former ambassadors to Israel: Edward P. Djerejian, Thomas R. Pickering, Daniel Kurtzer, Sam Lewis, William Harrop and Edward Walker.

The letter is the largest-ever direct appeal by American diplomats to Congress in support of a cabinet nomination.

  • The full text of the letter is available here