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200 former U.S. diplomats endorse Obama

Republican Presidential Nominee Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Democratic Presidential Nominee Sen. Barack Obama (IL) shake hands after the first presidential debate, moderated by journalist Jim Lehrer, at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, on September 26, 2008. The debate went on despite McCain's call for postponement in the face of the current economic crises. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)
Republican Presidential Nominee Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Democratic Presidential Nominee Sen. Barack Obama (IL) shake hands after the first presidential debate, moderated by journalist Jim Lehrer, at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, on September 26, 2008. The debate went on despite McCain's call for postponement in the face of the current economic crises. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

CHICAGO, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- More than 200 former U.S. diplomats have signed a statement announcing their support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

The former diplomats and ambassadors signed the statement before the Friday debate between Obama and Republican nominee John McCain.

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"We are supporting Senator Barack Obama because of his judgment, experience, and ability to inspire people to come together around a common purpose," the letter said. "Senator Obama's talents offer an historic opportunity; for the sake of America's security and standing in the world, we must seize it."

The letter, signed by officials from both major political parties, said the foreign policies of the Bush administration have diminished America's alliances abroad.

"As former diplomats, we believe it is past time that we had a President with the judgment and confidence -- in himself, our diplomatic corps, and our values -- to talk directly to America's adversaries with due preparation but without preconditions," the letter said.

The signatories include former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher, former National Security Adviser Richard Clarke and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk.

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