Romney attacks Obama on Mideast

2012-10-01 09:36
Obama, Romney on the road. (AP)

Obama, Romney on the road. (AP)

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Washington - US Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked President Barack Obama's Middle East policy late on Sunday, stepping up the pressure after a wave of anti-US protests in the Islamic world.

In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, Romney said of recent "disturbing" developments in the Middle East that the United States "seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them.

"We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies. And that's dangerous," Romney added.

"If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel's security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom."

Attacking Obama's Middle East policy, he wrote: "We needed a strategy for success, but the president offered none. And now he seeks to downplay the significance of the calamities of the past few weeks."

'Strategy is needed'

An amateur US film posted on the internet that insults the Prophet Muhammad provoked a wave of anti-American protests in several Muslim countries last month, and dozens of people were killed in the ensuing violence.

A related attack on the US consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including the US ambassador, on 11 September.

Romney said Obama had also dismissed Israel's concerns about Iran's nuclear programme as mere "noise" that he preferred to "block out". He accused him of having declined to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The White House has repeatedly denied this charge.

"In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East - that is, both governments and individuals who share our values," Romney wrote.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us election 2012
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