U.S. Adapts to Setbacks in Middle East Policy

The Bush administration has had to backtrack a bit on two key foreign policy matters: Iran and the Palestinian Authority. The recent U.S. approach has been to isolate governments it doesn't like. But its efforts to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution punishing Iran have stalled, and the Europeans have persuaded the United States to give a more reward-oriented approach another try.

Washington also agreed to take part in a new, and undefined, European plan to get more aid to Palestinians, including paying salaries of some public servants. Arab allies, in particular, have argued that the United States can't starve the Palestinians after pushing them to choose their leaders democratically.

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