Robert Wexler, Former Representative and the President of the Center for Middle East Peace
2009 marked the beginning of a positive influx of relations between the United States and Turkey. US President Barack Obama utilized the phrase “model partnership” during his visit to Ankara, the destination of his first overseas visit as president. It was in Ankara that he emphasized the importance of cooperation between Turkey, a Muslim nation that straddles Europe and Asia, and the United States, a Western nation with a Christian majority. A common set of ideals and values shared by both nations are key components of the model partnership, however, Obama’s description of the bi-lateral relationship left room for debate over what substantive mechanisms might be used to build a stronger foundation between the two allies.
Robert Wexler served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2010, representing Florida’s 19th congressional district. Mr. Wexler has been named one of the “50 Most Effective Legislators in Congress” by the magazine Congressional Quarterly and was recognized on the Forward 50 list as one of the most influential leadersin the American Jewish community. He resigned from Congress on January 4, 2010, and has been since serving as president of the Center for Middle East Peace. He received his B.A. from University of Florida, and his J.D. from GeorgeWashington University Law School. He is the co-author of Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2008).