President Obama's Speech and Middle East Policy

TV/Radio Broadcast CNN International
While President Obama’s speech on the Middle East expressed support for the dramatic changes going on in the region and compared those changes with the U.S. experience of nonviolent civil disobedience, it did not set out any bold policy shifts.
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In his speech on the Middle East, President Obama expressed support for the dramatic changes going on in the Middle East and aligned these changes with U.S. values and America’s own history of nonviolent civil disobedience, explained Michele Dunne on CNN International. The president also announced a substantial aid package for Egypt and Tunisia. Ultimately, Dunne said that “the speech was more timid than it needed to be.” In reference to Palestine and Israel, President Obama did not indicate any movement by the administration to begin a new push for peace. Instead, Dunne said, the president favored an approach based around negotiating borders and security before turning to weighty issues like Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees, an approach that Israel favors. Dunne suggested that Obama’s phrasing “should pave the way for a smother visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

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About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.


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