Obama to lay out new Mideast strategy
Washington, May 12, 2011
US President Barack Obama will give a major speech, possibly as early as next week, laying out his new Middle East strategy after the killing of Osama bin Laden and amid upheaval in the Arab world, US officials said on Wednesday.
A key sticking point is whether Obama, who gained a boost in global stature with the death of the Al Qaeda chief last week, will also use his coming address to present new proposals for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, a source familiar with the administration's internal debate said.
Obama, who will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on May 20, is considering giving the speech before he leaves on a trip to Europe early in the week of May 22, a senior administration official said.
Obama spokesman Jay Carney, speaking at the daily White House briefing, said the president would deliver an address on Middle East policy "fairly soon" but declined to provide further details.
Though Obama has made repairing US ties with the Muslim world a key thrust of his foreign policy, one US official said the coming address would be "about political change in Mena, not about Islam." – Reuters