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Nixon in Persian Gulf Visiting Troops

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http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/nixoninper_4842.mp3

Missouri governor Jay Nixon is overseas, visiting US troops in the Middle East. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore caught up with the governor by phone and files this report.

On a conference call with reporters Sunday, the governor announced he was in the Persian Gulf state of Kuwait, and that he had just been to Iraq to offer support to US troops and members of the Missouri National Guard. He's travelling with the governors of Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and Nevada.

Nixon said he had a heightened respect for the troops serving there, particularly after enduring temperatures of 119 degrees and weather conditions he described as “sandy.”

He said he spent Saturday night at the Embassy in Baghdad.

Nixon said due to military guidelines, he could only talk about where he had been, and not where he was going.

He would not say whether the state of Missouri or the US Department of Defense was paying for the trip, but said that information will eventually be made public. He added that as the commander-in-chief of the Missouri National Guard, he felt the trip was justified.

The governor left the United States Friday, and said he has been in frequent contact with his staff since leaving. He added that he has not handed off any authority to the lieutenant governor.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.