US approach to Gaza-Israel talks shows new reluctance to referee Mideast conflicts
(MCT) — WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s hands-off approach to Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza is emblematic of what analysts see as an evolving diplomatic approach that is easing the United States out of its longstanding role as chief referee for Middle Eastern conflicts.
For more than a year, analysts say, American diplomats have adopted a more laissez-faire stance, which was accelerated by the Arab Spring and its new crop of leaders who are eager to prove themselves on the world stage without the old order’s dependence on U.S. backing. The Obama administration appears only too happy to bequeath its former role to allies such as Egypt and Turkey; U.S. officials are vocal about the plan to disengage from the Middle East and focus on less troublesome parts of the world.
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