Mounting fury among allies leaves Obama isolated
Anger over US spying on world leaders and "unravelling" Middle East policy
Picture: The Guardian
- Dan Roberts and Paul Lewis for The Guardian
- United States
- October 25, 2013
International anger over US government surveillance has combined with a backlash against its current Middle East policy to leave President Obama increasingly isolated from many of his key foreign allies, according to diplomats in Washington.
The furious call that German chancellor Angela Merkel made to the White House on Wednesday to ask if her phone had been tapped was the latest in a string of diplomatic rebukes by allies including France,Brazil and Mexico, all of which have distanced themselves from the US following revelations of spying by the National Security Agency.
But the collapse in trust of the US among its European and South American partners has been matched by an equally rapid deterioration in its relationships with key allies in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia this week joined Israel, Jordan and United Arab Emirates in signalling a shift in its relations with the US over its unhappiness at a perceived policy of rapprochement toward Iran and Syria.
Though the issues are largely unrelated, they have led to a flurry of diplomatic activity from Washington, which is anxious to avoid a more permanent rift in the network of alliances that has been central to its foreign policy since the second world war.
Secretary of state John Kerry has been meeting with Saudi and Israeli leaders in an effort to keep them involved in Middle East peace talks about Palestine and Syria, Obama met Wednesday with Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif to reassure him over separate anxiety over US drone attacks, and the White House has been privately trying to mend fences with world leaders on the surveillance issue.
Source: The Guardian