Rice visits Middle East

The World

With less than nine months left before Bush leaves office, his administration is trying to persuade Iraq’s neighbors to engage Iraq diplomatically and to move more quickly to forgive Iraq’s debts. Secretary Rice is pointing to security improvements as proof that now is the right time. There have been no significant announcements on either topic yet. Several Arab governments have pledged to forgive some debt, and Saudi Arabia has pledged to open an embassy in Iraq, but there has been little concrete action. None of the Arab governments are helping Iraq as much as the Bush administration would like according to this analyst. He says part of the reluctance goes back to the fact that these countries opposed the war in Iraq in the first place. He says these countries share one concern with the US, and that’s concern over Iran’s role.

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