Days after launching a presidential exploratory committee, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam is traveling to the Middle East.
He plans to meet there with major regional players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The White House longshot seeks to burnish his foreign policy credentials at meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
“I thought it important to take the next step and visit with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in-person to hear about the crisis that reverberates around the world,” Messam said in a statement.
“The next President of the United States will also be commander in chief, so I hope to learn a great deal about how we can make the world a safer place for all people, but especially our men and women in uniform around the world.”
During the journey overseas, Messam plans to meet with experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and officials from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also expects to talk with leadership with the Speakers of Knesset and at B’Tsalem, a leading human rights organization.
The Florida official also seems intent on meeting with opponents of Israeli’s settlement policy.
Dr. Saeb Erakat, the Palestinian diplomat who negotiated the Oslo Accords, and Hanan Ashrawi, the first woman elected to the Palestinian National Council, both have meetings with Messam.
The mayor will also visit with Breaking The Silence, a non-governmental organization formed by Israeli Defense Forces veterans that wants Israel to leave the West Bank.
“I look forward to a productive set of meetings with some of the leaders who have been directly involved in attempting to negotiate peace,” Messam said.
“America must lead the world again, but we will only effectively do so when we restore our role as an honest broker on the world stage.”
Messam last week cruised to re-election in Miramar, then immediately announced his plans for the presidency.
“Together, we can fundamentally change our country for the better and tackle these challenges with actions that match the scale and urgency of this moment,” he said when announcing the committee.
“I do not believe that the best ideas come from Washington.”