Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Kerry: Middle East Countries Frustrated by U.S. Policy

Continuing his trip throughout the Middle East, John Kerry again criticized the Bush administration’s Iraq policy and offered his views of what should be done in the region, where other countries are frustrated by the lack of advances towards stability in Iraq.

"All of the countries of the region have a significant stake in the outcome and yet they are frustrated," Kerry said in Cairo, where he met Egyptian President Hosni

"They are frustrated because they don't feel that the steps necessary to be able to advance the stability of Iraq are really being taken," he said.

Kerry, who also met officials in Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Israel, said Washington should do more to build up Iraqi security forces, which are often attacked by rebels fighting U.S.-led forces and the interim Iraqi government.

"We could be and we should be doing a very significant amount more military training," he said.

U.S. and Iraqi officials should take full advantage of an Egyptian offer to help train Iraqi security forces, he added. Egypt was currently training 146 Iraqi officers, but had offered to train 500 or more, he said.

"They offered to do so. It isn't happening and in the insecurity of Iraq I think it's critical to use every possible avenue of creation of stability forces as fast as possible," Kerry said.

"I think it's an excellent offer by Egypt. I think it's a welcome offer and I think it should be taken up, fast," he said.

Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe said yesterday in his column “One of the major questions President Bush is facing about Iraq is how long he wants to take to get cracking on John Kerry's ideas for dealing with the mess Bush made.”

And in another twist on the ever changing Iraq quagmire, the Washington Post reported today that the “
Search for Banned Arms In Iraq Ended Last Month.”

Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction).

Comparison: Administration Claims and the Report.


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