To learn the status of development in the countries of the Greater Middle East, it is best to ask experts from those countries themselves. That’s just what the United Nations did, and the answers have raised concerns both in the region and elsewhere.
Common wisdom holds that for someone who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When that someone is the world's only superpower that has recently conquered two Middle Eastern states, there is more than a valid reason for concern from those who may fall on the nail side of the equation.
The premature leak in Al-Hayat of a draft of President Bush’s Greater Middle East Initiative drew sharp criticism from across the Arab world, both for its lack of consultation with the intended “targets” of American attention, and for its failure to mention the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The GMEI has aroused intense interest in Turkey for a variety of reasons. The most obvious ones are geographic proximity and cultural/religious affinity. Any major change in the region is likely to have deep repercussions here.
The problem confronting President Bush as he prepares to launch the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) is that many in the region disagree with America’s reform priorities and distrust American motives in Iraq.
The ‘crisis of governance’ in the greater Middle East has now reached the top of policy-makers’ agenda. Something of a new consensus has emerged – in Europe, America and across the Middle East itself – that ‘Arab state failure’ is not just a political or socio-economic problem, but also the source of many security threats.
The women of Tunisia have a decisive role to play in shaping Tunisia's future. Fatma Ben Saïdane reminds women of the power of their vote and the importance of civic engagement.
"It is not often that we can find a resource that provides balance and fosters Mideast reconciliation, understanding and coexistence. The Common Ground News Service provides all these consistently. Above all, this service provides the most intangible yet most essential of elements, hope for a better future for all the people of the Middle East."
- Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine
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