RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Senator Ted Budd returned to the U.S. Wednesday following a trip to the Middle East where he spoke with the wife of a North Carolina man who is being held hostage in Gaza.
According to Budd's representatives, Budd stopped in several countries including Israel, Egypt, Qatar, and Bahrain as part of a bi-partisan trip. During his trip, he along with seven other lawmakers toured Kibbutz Nir Oz, a community devastated by the Hamas attacks on October 7.
"While in Israel, I was particularly moved by our visit to Kibbutz Nir Oz where Hamas terrorists massacred innocent Israeli civilians and took dozens hostage, including Americans," Budd said in a release. "To see the results of that barbarism firsthand only reinforces my resolve to do everything I can to secure the unconditional and immediate release of all of the hostages. That is exactly the message we sent to the Qatari Prime Minister: His government must do more."
Budd also met with families of hostages being held in Hamas including Adrienne "Aviva" Siegel, the wife of North Carolina native Keith Siegel, who is still being held in Gaza.
Keith Siegel moved to Israel decades ago and has ties to Chapel Hill and Durham.
Adrienne Siegel and her husband were taken hostage at the start of the war on Oct. 7. She was released along with 16 other hostages in Nov.
In late October, Budd spoke on the Senate floor about the escalating war and innocent people being taken hostage, including several from North Carolina. He didn't release their names at that time.
During the trip, lawmakers also met with top Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad Director David Barnea. They visited U.S. military members from North Carolina at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), and U.S. 5th Fleet at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.