Obama has ‘no coherent message’ for the Arab world
Joyce Karam, Washington correspondent for pan-Arabic daily Al-Hayat, offers a sobering assessment on the Al-Arabiya website of the current administrations efforts in the post-”Arab Spring” Middle East. She begins by noting a how a minor recent diplomatic walkback highlights the White House’s contradictory policy:
It was only fitting that the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces another traditional trip to the Middle East on the same day that the U.S. embassy in Cairo withdraws its tweet advancing the case for Egyptian Comedian Bassem Youssef as he faces intimidation from the Mursi government. The two events, while unrelated, show the degree to which the Obama administration has lost touch with the Arab public, and is focussed on pursuing a risk averse agenda that prioritizes relations with regional leaders. Kerry is taking his third trip in less than two months to the Middle East this weekend where he will stop in Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The goals for now are to boost Turkish-Israeli ties after Israel’s apology, and to push for direct talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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