Diplomacy and Promises of Democracy in the Middle East

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The Arab summit is reaching out to Israel, led by the regional powerhouse of Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah has taken up where Egypt left off. Despite Israel's initial rejection five years ago, Prime Minister Olmert has agreed to take another look. In Egypt itself, voters have increased the powers of President Mubarak, but the election's being criticized as a violation of his promise to increase democracy.  Pakistan's President Musharraf, a guest at today's Arab summit, is another US ally accused of stifling dissent to strengthen his own position. For three years before September 11, US aid to Pakistan amounted to less than $10 million; since then, it's been more than $10 billion, with only Israel and Egypt getting more. How great is the risk of extremist takeovers in Egypt or Pakistan? Is US aid promoting democracy or propping up repressive regimes? We hear from journalists, military and political analysts, foreign policy experts, and human rights advocates.




Warren Olney