Figures. Obama Administration Snubs Mideast Allies
While the Obama Administration has already held talks with the brutal Syrian Regime and extended a hand out to Iran and the Taliban, America’s allies in the region have gotten a cold shoulder from Team Obama.
Amir Taheri at The New York Post reported:
Well, if your enemies won’t talk to you, why not talk to your friends? But this is precisely what the new administration doesn’t want to do – for that would look like continuing the Bush administration’s “failed policies.”
Notably, President Obama did not respond to greeting messages from America’s Mideast allies until weeks after he’d entered the White House. The Iraqi leadership had to wait three weeks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai waited 40 days. Leaders of traditional allies such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia didn’t wait as long – but got only protocol calls devoid of political content.
Obama’s emissaries to the region have made it clear that the new administration is keener on cultivating its foes than courting its friends.
Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, spoke of his desire to engage the Taliban but cited “scheduling problems” in not meeting America’s friends among Afghan and Pakistani elites. In Kabul, he made it all but clear that the new administration sees the Karzai presidency as part of the “Bush legacy.” In Pakistan, he sent signals that Washington is not keen on supporting President Asif Ali Zardari’s government.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton granted Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora only a photo-op handshake during a conference on Gaza held in Egypt. Siniora, whose coalition government faces a crucial election in June, had hoped for a “convincing show of American support.” Instead, he was cold-shouldered.
Concern that the US may be abandoning its allies has led to a number of panic moves.
Hat Tip Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi