Monday, July 14, 2008
Sarkozy: Following in Baker's Footsteps
Marwan Bishara, Al-Jazeera's senior political analysis, calls the summit a triumph of Mediterranean realism and contrasts the more humble aspirations of the French in light of the "failure" of America to remake the Middle East.
Looking through the various news reports, I was again struck by the lack of real coverage from U.S. outlets. Is it because there is not a "Made in the U.S." sticker? I would assume that the growing "offshore balancer" community should be pleased--this represents burden sharing away from the U.S. toward the Europeans taking a more active lead in dealing with their geographical neighbors in the Middle East and North Africa.
But, just as with the lack of coverage about IBSA, I wonder whether the U.S. is really comfortable with "relinquishing" its roles ...
QUESTION: What is U.S. reaction on Mediterranean Summit in Paris? (Inaudible.)
MR. MCCORMACK: It’s an effort that’s being led by the EU and countries around the Mediterranean. We don’t have an observer there. We don’t have a place at the table. But I think generally, it’s an effort that we can, at the least, be supportive of. You know, what the specific outcomes of this grouping will be, you know, we’ll see. But it would appear that they had a good first meeting.