President Barack Obama’s Mideast diplomacy is going nowhere fast, as the White House has been unable to exert much influence over either Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Obama administration’s conclusion that neither of them can be of much help has “brought a distinct frost to administration relations with both men — a chill that for now seems likely to freeze the chances for any new U.S. peace initiative in the region,” Politico reports
“Every leader faces difficult politics — the question for both sides is whether they’re willing to make tough choices that are in their interests despite the politics,” says a White House official of both Netanyahu and Abbas, the latter of whom has drawn White House ire for what officials described as inconsistent demands.
The departure of Obama’s two senior aides, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, also hurts as the two were personally deeply involved in the Middle East talks, viewing them as historic and politically promising opportunities.
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