President Obama meets King Abdullah of Jordan on Friday in California. The president will also travel to Saudi Arabia in March, just after Secretary of State John Kerry makes a special stop in the United Arab Emirates.
All three of these events are part of a larger whole: an attempt by the Obama administration to reassure key American Arab allies that the United States is not retreating from the Middle East or going soft on its leadership role in the world. This effort was exemplified by the extraordinary joint plea by Secretaries Hagel and Kerry recently at the Munich Security Conference to skeptical European partners. Read more »