These are my links for May 18th from 18:18 to 18:22:
- Obama to Unveil New Aid Plan for Mideast – WSJ.com – President Barack Obama will announce this week a new aid plan for the Middle East and North Africa that U.S. officials say will be far bolder than previous American economic assistance to the region.
Mr. Obama will outline the plan, which could include debt cancellation and a reprogramming of financial aid the U.S. already provides to countries like Egypt, in a speech he is scheduled to deliver Thursday at the State Department.
Whatever aid he announces, though, is unlikely to assuage Arab governments, which had been hoping the White House would push forcibly for a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The president's aides say his speech will focus only briefly on the issue.
"At the end of the day, the Palestinian cause remains a dominant issue," said a senior Arab official. "A speech by the president without addressing the conflict is unlikely to generate much enthusiasm."
Mr. Obama met Tuesday with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who has been pressing U.S. officials to take a more aggressive role in the peace process, according to Arab diplomats.
After the meeting, Mr. Obama said the U.S. will provide Jordan with hundreds of millions of dollars through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the government institution that finances and insures private business to promote economic growth. The result, according to the U.S., will be roughly $1 billion for economic activity in Jordan. The president also pledged 50,000 metric tons of wheat.
"All of this will help to stabilize the cost of living and day-to-day situation of Jordanians and will provide a foundation so that these economic reforms can move forward and long-term development can take place," Mr. Obama said.
The president's goal, officials said, is to give a financial boost to the political change sweeping the Mideast and North Africa, where dashed economic aspirations have fed unrest.
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Good grief. What is Obama thinking?
More monetary aid to Egypt while the USA is debt-ridden?
- President Obama to Tell Arab World US Eager to Help Them Realize Economic and Political Dreams – On Thursday, President Obama will try to convince the Arab World that the U.S. wants to shift its engagement in the region from a military one to a political and economic engagement that will help the people of the region realize their dreams.
“Having wound down the Iraq war and continuing to do so, and having taken out Osama bin Laden, we are beginning to turn the page to a more positive and hopeful future for U.S. policy in the region,” a senior administration official told reporters today, previewing the speech.
Sources said President Obama will discuss Syria as a place where the Arab Spring has not been allowed to flourish, though he will not call for President Bashar al-Assad to step down – though he will mention the sanctions the U.S. imposed on him today.
Officials said the president sees the speech as way to step back and assess the historic changes in the region and to take the opportunity to explain to the world how his administration will support the democratic aspirations of the people in the region while focusing on four core principles:
support for human rights,
support for political reform, and
support for economic reform.
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What about American debt doesn't Obama understand. Our own people are not working and entitlements are bankrupting us. We owe the Chinese and other countries massive amounts of money.
How is it in our interests to help Egypt, Tunisia and Syria.
Come on now…..this will win Obama no new American voters.