Condoleezza Rice Trip to the Middle East

Condoleezza Rice is starting a trip to the Middle East for a diplomatic push after the worsening situation in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

US policy in the Middle East has always been met with difficulties because it failed to reconcile the positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians. The US has always been seen as leaning to the Israeli side while being critical of the Palestinians because of the radical views of factions like Hamas. As Hamas and Fatah are still in deep disagreement about Israel, Rice will find it difficult to create a rapprochement leading to durable peace. Her trip will bring little results to the region.Concerning

Concerning her diplomatic initiative about IraqIraqi government and American policy.

As Rice isn’t visiting Syria -one of the key players in the region because of its proximity to Iraq and a harbour to insurgents-her trip to the Middle East will have little impact. The other Arab states she is visiting are US allies with little influence on the situation in Iraq. These states (except for Kuwait) will be reluctant to show open support to US policy as they have to bear in mind public reactions which is in majority opposed to US presence in Iraq. What Saudi Arabia can do, for example, is to prevent its citizens from joining the Sunni insurgents or supporting them financially.

In general the trip is only a diplomatic manoeuvre for consultations and guaranteeing political alliance with these countries. It can also be just US assurance to these states about their stability in case the situation in Iraq worsens further.

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