Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Not Libya, Are the Keys to Peace

(Daily Beast) Leslie H. Gelb - The Obama team has been spending far less time than it should on the Mideast as a whole and far too much time on Libya. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the keys to peace in the region and, in Riyadh's case, central to the flow of critical oil. Muslim extremists are moving to gain control in Egypt. Washington has to help the secular army and the street democrats do what they deem wise to prevent the religious radicalization of their country. Of equal importance, Washington has much to do to restore good relations with Saudi Arabia, given King Abdullah's perception that Obama helped push longtime ally Mubarak overboard. The king isn't going to democratize his country, whatever the humanitarians say, and Obama should leave matters alone there for the time being. More or less the same applies to the states of the Arabian Peninsula such as Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar. The writer is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.

2011-04-08 00:00:00

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