A U.S. Agenda for the Middle East

(New York Daily News) Robert Satloff - The Saudis are arranging a massive gathering of Arab and Muslim potentates ranging from the king of Morocco to the president of Indonesia for President Trump's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia. The President should take advantage of his meeting with Muslim leaders to propose a new partnership to roll back the twin forms of Islamist extremism - the Sunni jihadism of ISIS and al-Qaeda, and the Iranian-led consortium of radical states, militias and proxies. Such a partnership would extend both a promise of tolerance and protection to Christians in Muslim lands as well as a full-throated offer of acceptance and cooperation to Israel. The President should use his considerable political leverage to advance a secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but the easiest part of this is to re-launch direct negotiations. To make real progress, Trump should work to bring into the process powerful regional actors, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. With the Palestinians, he should pick up a theme President George W. Bush championed 15 years ago as a requirement of U.S. partnership and then dropped - an insistence on internal reform, on everything from fighting corruption to stamping out incitement to ending the odious practice of paying terrorists and their families. The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2017-05-17 00:00:00

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