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RELEASE: 5 Key Findings from CAP’s Recent Discussions in the Middle East

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Contact: Christina DiPasquale
Phone: 202.481.8181
Email: cdipasquale@americanprogress.org

Read the full CAP trip report here.

Washington, D.C. — As President Barack Obama embarks on his trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan this week, the Center for American Progress today released “5 Key Findings from CAP’s Recent Discussions in the Middle East,” which provides analysis of regional challenges and recommendations for U.S. policy in the area going forward.

President Obama will arrive in the region at a time when many voices are questioning the ability and willingness of the United States to lead. Budget battles in Washington combined with the rebalance to Asia and the complexity of the challenges in the Middle East have led many in the region to doubt the United States. President Obama’s visit offers an important opportunity for the United States to assume a leadership role in dealing with security threats such as Iran and Syria, political challenges such as the historic changes sweeping across many countries in the Middle East, and diplomatic challenges such the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The key findings include:

  1. Israel’s prevailing postelection focus is on domestic issues such as the budget and the equality of burden sharing at home.
  2. The Palestinian Authority is weak and fragile, and its leaders feel undermined by recent events and trends in the region.
  3. Major threats and great uncertainty in the broader regional landscape worry Israelis and Palestinians alike.
  4. The Obama administration faces a complicated political and strategic communications environment in Israel and in the broader region.
  5. There is great concern that the United States is not prepared to act and lead on key issues in the region.

President Obama’s trip to the Middle East must be more than just focused on strategic communications and setting a new tone for his second term. The Obama administration needs to make sure that it follows up with concrete policy steps connected to a broader strategy. The report’s key recommendations include:

  1. Continue to expand security cooperation with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Turkey, and seek to integrate this cooperation within wider regional security efforts.
  2. Continue close coordination with Israel on Iran.
  3. Send a clear signal of political and economic support to the Palestinian Authority.
  4. Explore ways for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take confidence-building steps that help to restore trust lost during the past decade.
  5. Examine possible regional diplomatic initiatives that could enhance continued regional security measures.

Read the full CAP trip report here.

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or cdipasquale@americanprogress.org.

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