MDR Info Interviews ASL About America’s Middle East Initiative

MDR Info, the most listened to source for news in Mitteldeutschland (Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia), interviewed ASL for the afternoon news program regarding the visit by President Bush to the Middle East and America’s efforts to encourage a Middle East peace process.

Reporter Heine Martin asked Crister Garrett what the point of such a presidential visit could be so late in an administration’s term in office, and what it could possibly mean for the peace process in the region. Crister Garrett pointed out that all previous presidents going back to Richard Nixon had placed such visits late in their term in large part because these visits cannot per se change in any substantial way the regional political dynamics and are thus fraught with potential disappointment. President Bush will use his trip to urge Israelis and Palestinians to move forward on their goal to create and independent Palestinian state by the end of 2008, and to talk to several leaders in the region about the ongoing threat posed by Iran. The visit is in important respects overshadowed by the dramatic developments in the presidential primary elections unfolding at the same time.