A leading U.S. senator predicts that January will be a month of "historic transformation" in the Middle East.
In an interview with ABC television Sunday, Senator Joe Lieberman said this month will be remembered as the time Iraqis and Palestinians held elections and started becoming democratic nations.
Mr. Lieberman, who just returned from a trip to Iraq, said he came away encouraged that Iraqis will be able to hold elections despite ongoing violence.
The Democratic senator called the violence "only a small part" of Iraq's reality, and said insurgents fighting U.S. and Iraqi security forces do not have popular support.
He said it would be a mistake to postpone Iraqi elections despite calls from some Sunni Muslim politicians to do so.
Iraq's elections are set for January 30. Palestinians choose a new president on January 9.