US favours protecting long-term Mideast allies: Report

Last Updated: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 15:53

Washington: President Barack Obama`s
administration is settling on a Middle East strategy that
favors keeping long-time Arab allies who are willing to reform
in power, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Citing unnamed officials and diplomats, the newspaper
said the administration is leaning toward this approach even
if that means the full democratic demands of Arab citizens
might have to wait.

Instead of pushing for immediate change -- as it did
in Egypt and now Libya -- the United States is urging
protesters from Bahrain to Morocco to work with existing
rulers toward what some officials and diplomats are now
calling "regime alteration," the report said.

The moderate US approach has emerged after lobbying by
Arab governments who were alarmed that Obama had abandoned
Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, The Journal said.

The Arab rulers were worried that, if Washington did
the same to the king of Bahrain, a chain of revolts could
sweep them from power too, the paper noted.

A senior administration official acknowledged the past
month has been a learning process for policy makers, the
report said.

"What we have said throughout this is that there is a
need for political, economic and social reform, but the
particular approach will be country by country," The Journal
quotes the unnamed official as saying.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 15:53

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