An assortment of senior administration officials recently visited the Gulf and broader Middle East to discuss bilateral relations, Iran and Middle East peace. The following is a timeline of the recent meetings:
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar and met with Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani as well as Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. In addition, Clinton met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
• Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.
• From February 15-16, Secretary Clinton visited Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.
• From February 15-16, CENTCOM Commander General David Petraeus held meetings in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah and other senior officials; including Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, chief of general intelligence; Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, assistant minister of defense and aviation and inspector general for military affairs; and Saudi Ambassador to United States Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir.
• Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Jacob Lew traveled to Jordan and met with King Abdullah II.
• Mullen met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, chief of military intelligence, in Israel.
• Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns traveled to Lebanon and met with President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
• Mullen arrived in Jordan and met with his counterpart General Khalid Sarayreh and King Abdullah II. Mullen also met with Commander of Saudi Land Forces Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman al-Murshid in Saudi Arabia.
• Following President Obama’s nomination of Robert Ford as the first U.S. ambassador to Damascus since 2005, Burns led a delegation of senior U.S. officials to Syria where they met with President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. Burns’ visit marked the highest-level official U.S. visit to Syria in five years.
• From February 17-20, Lew visited Israel and the West Bank, after which he was scheduled to visit Egypt. Lew’s fellow deputy secretary of state, James Steinberg, is scheduled to lead a delegation to Israel the week of February 21.
• Mullen met with Saudi Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, and Deputy Chief of the Saudi General Staff Lt. Gen. Hussein al-Qabil.
• Burns met with Turkey’s Davutoglu.
• Mullen met with Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani al-Rumaithi in Abu Dhabi.
• David Hale, deputy to U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.