In Egypt, there were congratulations but not as much enthusiasm as there has been in the past. When Obama won in 2008, he gave a speech which outlined various plans for a strong relationship between Cairo and Washington. However, his future policies did not reflect that in the eyes of many Egyptians.
A leader of Syria’s opposition force was optimistic because of Obama’s re-election. He stated that now things could move forward in the relationship between the rebels and America. However, not all of the opposition in Syria feels the same way. Some feel that Obama has spouted empty rhetoric. Turkish leaders were also disillusioned with Obama, saying that his administration did not appear to want to show leadership with regard to the Syrian situation.
One banker in Lebanon believed that it did not matter whether Romney or Obama was elected, because his opinion was that neither candidate really understood the war between Lebanon and Syria.
Saudi Arabia, because of Obama’s willingness to work with Cairo at the beginning of his first term, felt that he had alienated leaders in Riyadh. They did not have a lot to say about his re-election.
Hopefully, with Obama’s second term, he will take a more proactive role in helping the Middle East overcome some of its serious problems.
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