No one in Arab world is pro-American anymore, says Middle-East expert

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States’ role and influence in the Arab world has vastly diminished in recent years, Middle-East activists and experts have said.

Toufan Faisal, a veteran democracy campaigner in Jordan who has been advising young protesters in the Jordanian capital, Amman, said that they avoid references to the US as a political role model for fear of alienating potential supporters.

“I don’t think America appeals to the younger generation. I’m cautious not to present them with the American example because there’s a negative attitude to America, a disappointment,” Faisal said.

Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, echoed the remark saying that no one in the region is pro-American anymore.

“The only hope is if Obama uses this (Egypt) opportunity to re-orientate U.S. policy in a fundamental way,” the Washington Post quoted Hamid, as saying.

“Otherwise, I think we’re losing the Arab world,” he added.

He also believes that the Obama administration’s initial, tepid response to the Egypt crisis, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling Mubarak’s regime “stable” and Vice President Biden declaring that he did not regard Mubarak as a dictator, did little to endear Washington to a region that has long yearned for political reform. (ANI)

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