Monday, Jun 05, 2023

Economic, political reforms and preventing violence high on US envoy’s agenda in Mideast trip

Economic, political reforms and preventing violence high on US envoy’s agenda in Mideast trip

Barbara Leaf, the US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, had productive meetings with the Arab leaders and officials during her recent trip to the Middle East, she said on Thursday.
She discussed with them a wide range of urgent political and economic issues, including economic reforms in Lebanon and Tunisia, elections in Libya, and heightened tensions in the occupied West Bank.

Leaf visited Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and Libya between March 15 and 25. She said her trip “focused on the US’s enduring interests in the Middle East and North Africa” and was an opportunity to reinforce President Joe Biden’s priority of an affirmative framework of American engagement in the region. She added that she also engaged in troubleshooting on some issues.

“I reaffirmed US support for de-escalating conflicts, support for democratic principles and elections, human rights and key economic reform,” she said.

During her briefing, attended by Arab News, Leaf said she worked with officials from Jordan, Palestine and Israel on efforts to reduce the threat of violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians during Ramadan, which this year coincides with upcoming Jewish feast of Passover and Christian celebration of Easter.

Representatives of the US, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority also held meetings earlier this month in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt to discuss security precautions and efforts to de-escalate tensions in the occupied West Bank, in light of Israeli army operations deep within cities in the territory. At least 80 Palestinians have been killed by army forces so far this year, and scores wounded or arrested. Several Israelis have also been killed.

The legislative elections in Israel in November resulted in the formation of a coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that is described as the most far right in the nation’s history. Some cabinet members have openly called for violence against Palestinians and more Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, which are considered illegal under international law.

Palestinian officials accuse such extremist members of the Israeli government of stoking rising tensions and supporting settler violence against the Palestinians in occupied territories.

Regarding the recent rapprochement by some Arab states with Syria, Leaf said officials told her that they believe the international isolation of the Syrian regime and its president, Bashar Assad, has not worked and so they want to try engagement instead. She said she advised them to make sure “to get something out it.”

As for the US position on Syria, she reiterated that Washington will not engage with the regime and will maintain its sanctions on it and key officials.

“The US approach to Syria is unchanged: We don’t intend to normalize relations with Syria,” she said. “The regime is a disaster for its own people and the region.”

Leaf said she met Libyan leaders and other key officials in Tripoli, and that the people of the country want democracy and unity.

“Libyans have made it clear that they want to vote and want a unified government,” she said.

During her meetings with Lebanese officials, she urged them to implement desperately needed economic reforms and “emphasized the urgency” of electing a new president. The office has remained empty since Michel Aoun’s term ended in October, as politicians have been unable to agree on a successor.

Meanwhile the country is engulfed in a devastating financial crisis and efforts to implement economic reforms needed to unlock billions of dollars of international assistance have stalled.

Leaf said the US remains committed to efforts to bring stability to Lebanon and its people, and highlighted the financial assistance recently provided to members of the Lebanese Armed Forces. She added that she urged Lebanese leaders to work with the International Monetary Fund as it is only “lifeline” that can help the country out of its economic crisis.

During her visit to Tunisia, Leaf gave assurances that the US supports the people of the country and their right to democratic government. She said she also urged Tunisian leaders to continue with the process of economic reform.
AI Disclaimer: An advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system generated the content of this page on its own. This innovative technology conducts extensive research from a variety of reliable sources, performs rigorous fact-checking and verification, cleans up and balances biased or manipulated content, and presents a minimal factual summary that is just enough yet essential for you to function as an informed and educated citizen. Please keep in mind, however, that this system is an evolving technology, and as a result, the article may contain accidental inaccuracies or errors. We urge you to help us improve our site by reporting any inaccuracies you find using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page. Your helpful feedback helps us improve our system and deliver more precise content. When you find an article of interest here, please look for the full and extensive coverage of this topic in traditional news sources, as they are written by professional journalists that we try to support, not replace. We appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Related Articles

Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
Drone Attack on Moscow's Wealthiest Neighborhoods Suspected to be Launched by Ukraine
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Hold Power Talks with President Biden in Washington
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
Prominent Hacker Forum RaidForums Suffers Substantial Data Breach
Nvidia CEO Huang says firms, individuals without AI expertise will be left behind
WPP Revolutionizes Advertising with NVIDIA's AI Powerhouse
Two US Employees Fired For Chasing Robbers Out Of Store As They Broke ''Company Policy''
If you donated to BLM, you got played
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
Actor Tom Hanks told Harvard University graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals, and to resist those who twist the truth for their own gain
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
France Arrests 10 on Suspicion of Failing to Respond in Time to Migrant Drowning
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Saudi Arabia and Canada Restore Diplomatic Relations
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Last Walmart in North Portland Closing Down
Florida's DeSantis seeks to disqualify judge in Disney case
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Disney has canceled plans to build a new campus in Florida worth almost $1 billion
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
King Charles III being crowned.
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became
Ukraine More Prepared for Counterattack as Reinforcements Arrive
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Discuss Migration, Defence, and Ukraine
Tucker Carlson is back, soon!
AT&T's Successful Test of Satellite-Based Phone Call Raises Possibility of Widespread Coverage
CNN: "Joe Biden is asking for four more years — when 74% of Americans think the country is heading the wrong way“
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Cuts Short Live TV Interview Due to Health Issue
US Congresswoman threaten Twitter Files journalist with arrest
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh slams New York Times' pro-government stance and treatment of sources
Enough is enough: it's time to end the war in Ukraine. While Russia may be to blame for starting it, Russia is not the one refusing to stop it
Fox News Settles their case with Dominion Voting Systems for a staggering $787.5 MILLION
The land of the free violence
Speaker Kevin McCarthy