US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Egypt as part of a Middle East tour aimed at reassuring Arab partners after President Donald Trump announced his plans to withdraw US forces from Syria.
He has given a heavily criticised speech, which many saw as targetting former President Barack Obama, who delivered one of his major policy statements in Cairo in 2009.
In a speech entitled “A new beginning”, Obama tried to hit the reset button on relations with majority-Muslim countries, acknowledging a history of mistrust between the West and many Muslims around the world.
Obama also said the Iraq War had taught the US to look more to diplomacy and less to armed intervention and that the US was willing to talk to Iran without preconditions in order to reach a deal over its nuclear ambitions.
Joel Rubin, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state under then-President Obama and is now president of consulting firm Washington Strategy Group, talks about Pompeo’s “anti-Obama” speech and explains why he believes it lacked any real vision.
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