Middle East Trip on the Agenda for President Obama

On Monday, President Obama met with Arab American leaders prior to his trip to the Middle East. The leaders urged Obama to deliver their message to Palestinians during his trip at the end of this week to the Middle East. The urging by the leaders came even though the president said he would not use his visit to set in motion a peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians.

Ten leaders came to the White House to meet with Obama only four days after he held talks with the leaders of Jewish organizations in his preparation for traveling to Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

The Obama administration has not announced the official dates of Obama’s planned trip, but news media in Israel has reported that the U.S. president would start his trip on March 20 in Israel.

Obama, in his meeting, was seeking input for his different meetings while in the Middle East. He is schedule to hold talks separately with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinian president and King Abdullah Jordan’s ruler.

An official from the White House said Obama wanted to demonstrate the commitment by the U.S. to the people of Palestine and at the same time reiterate the commitment of America to the security of Israel.

Many Palestinians expressed their disappointment in the failure of Obama to bring about an advancement in the peace process, despite calling diplomacy in the Middle East a high priority for his second term in office.

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