On Thursday he named George Mitchell as a special envoy, and he has already signaled that the US will reengage the region.
On Thursday, he joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Joseph Biden, and his national security advisers at lunch at the State Department to discuss ways of implementing “the administration’s pledge to enhance diplomatic efforts to advance American interests,” the White House said.
The meeting also served as the venue for naming two special envoys: former Senate Democratic leader George Mitchell for the Middle East and former ambassador Richard Holbrooke for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Perhaps the key question now is whether reinvigorated American diplomacy will find the partners in the Middle East it needs to move forward such daunting challenges as Arab-Israeli peace and Palestinian statehood.
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