There is a flurry of diplomatic activity between the United States and several Muslim countries as America tries to lay the groundwork for Israel-Palestinian peace talks. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with her Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in Washington, D.C., to talk peace. Half a world away, eight U.S. congresspersons, led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), are touring the Middle East. Yesterday, the delegation met with Egypt’s foreign minister; in the coming days, they hit Jerusalem for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni, the Palestinian Territories for Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Istanbul for President Abdullah Gul.
Unrelatedly—maybe—the Pentagon gave its blessing to a $3.2 billion deal between Egypt and Lockheed Martin for 24 F-16 jet fighters. The Defense Department also okayed smaller deals for Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates to buy American-made weapons.