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Governor and Mrs. Perry to Visit Israel, Jordan

Governor to receive "Friend of Zion Award"

From the Office of Gov. Rick Perry

June 28, 2007

Government - Gov. Perry picture AUSTIN–Gov. Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry June 22 left on a seven-day trip to visit the Middle East nations of Israel and Jordan. In Israel, Gov. Perry will receive the “Friend of Zion Award” from the Global Leadership Council for his leadership in homeland defense, border security and economic development. The award, which is given to “leaders who have played key roles in promoting the close alliance between America and the Jewish state,” will be presented during a ceremony in Jerusalem at the historic Western Wall Square.

Past recipients of this distinguished award include former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Senator Evan Bayh, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator John Kerry, and former Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick.

Perry is also scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former Prime Minister and newly elected President Shimon Peres. In addition, he will meet with the Israeli Chief Scientist, Dr. Eli Opper, and several representatives of the aeronautics, defense systems, homeland security and biotechnology industries.

“America has a special relationship with Israel, and in the midst of turmoil and bloodshed, America must remain an unwavering supporter of a strong Jewish state in the Middle East,” said Gov. Perry. “Though the task is extremely difficult, our nation must be a consistent voice for a new era of peace and security between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”

“I believe Texans share a special kinship with the Israeli people,” he added. “We are both independent-minded and self-reliant, and our history is grounded in strong stands against impossible odds.”

The Perrys will visit several historic sites while in Israel, including Mea Shearim, Nachlat Shiva and Ein Karem, the home town of John the Baptist. They will also visit the Red Sea, the Dead Sea and take a tour of Masada. For less than a day they will also cross into Jordan and visit the City of Petra.

They depart this afternoon, June 22, and return on Friday, June 29. All expenses will be paid by Global Capital Associates, which is hosting the gala awards ceremony where Gov. Perry will be recognized.

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