America's Tangled Diplomacy in the Middle East

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In Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, diplomats from some 50 countries are meeting this week on the future of Iraq. Prime Minister al-Maliki is under intense pressure, asking forgiveness of $50 billion in debt rolled up by Saddam Hussein while trying to show he can hold on to his own job. Today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Syria's foreign minister--the countries' most senior diplomatic contact since 2005, when the US pulled its ambassador from Damascus after the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister. Rice may also meet her Iranian counterpart, but there are new problems with Saudi Arabia. Will King Abdullah help Iraq rebuild by forgiving debts racked up by Saddam Hussein? Is America's most important Arab ally trying to distance itself from US interests in the Middle East?

Credits

Guests:
Warren Strobel - Reuters - @WStrobel, Karim Sadjadpour - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - @ksadjadpour, Martin Indyk - Brookings Institution, Patrick Clawson - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Katie Cooper, Dan Konecky, Karen Radziner