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David Jolly Middle East sojourn includes hanging out with Bono at a refugee camp in Turkey

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Pinellas County Congressman David Jolly, on a trip to the Middle East this week, visited a refugee camp on Friday that is the home to victims displaced by the war in Syria.

The GOP senate candidate placed some photos of his trip on his Facebook page, including one with rock icon and global humanitarian Bono.

Jolly’s part of a contingent of lawmakers who made national security and intelligence trip meeting this week to meet with the prime ministers of Israel and Turkey, the king of Saudi Arabia and the president of Egypt. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is also part of the contingent.

Here’s Jolly in his own words on his Facebook page:

I’ve long disagreed with the President’s national security strategies and foreign policy in the Middle East and Syria. But I equally maintain that Congress has a responsibility to engage directly on the issues, to thoroughly study and understand the greatest challenges we face, and to work hard to influence the President’s policies. Today I had an opportunity to do just that, by visiting a refugee camp on the Syrian border that is now home to the many victims displaced by the war in Syria.

There are 2.7 million refugees in Turkey alone, with many more in Lebanon and Jordan. Today’s visit allowed me the opportunity to assess the security protocols of Turkey’s resettlement program, and to see firsthand the very human tragedy suffered by the men, women, and children who now call their settlement camp home. It was a heartbreaking and moving experience to hear a father ask when he might be able to safely return his children to their homeland. We are indeed in the midst of a historic humanitarian and security crisis that we must responsibly consider and address.

Many thanks to international humanitarian, philanthropist, and rock icon Bono for being a special part of today’s experience.

Earlier this week, Jolly visited with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where he called for an increase to the annual foreign aid budget to Israel from $3.1 billion to $5 billion.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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