Cheney to Mideast with "rich agenda" on oil, peace

( Reuter )- Vice President Dick Cheney left on Sunday for the Middle East to raise concerns about high oil prices, push Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and seek support for Iraq, where war began five years ago this week.

Cheney, who has strong ties with leaders in the Middle East, will visit Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, the Palestinian territories, and Turkey during a nine-day trip to the region.

"Clearly, our ongoing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be discussed," John Hannah, national security adviser to Cheney, told reporters. "Middle East peace, Iran, the situation in Syria, Lebanon, the violence in Gaza, energy -- it's a very long list and rich agenda."

Cheney will reinforce the message from visits by President George W. Bush in January and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this month, in a stepped-up diplomatic push for Israelis and Palestinians to move forward on peace efforts dealt a blow by violence in Gaza and Israel.

"The mood has deteriorated incredibly in the last six weeks since the president was there," Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.

"From the outside it's very hard to see that Secretary Rice was able to even arrest the slide let alone get things moving forward. My guess is the vice president will be able to arrest the slide if not necessarily put things on track," he said.

In Saudi Arabia, Cheney will discuss energy with King Abdullah as record-high oil prices strain the U.S. economy, but he was not expected to repeat the call by Bush for OPEC to increase production.

"I'm not sure he'll seek anything more than a good and thorough discussion about the current situation in the global energy markets," a senior administration official said.

The United States wants Saudi Arabia, and other Arab allies like Egypt, to set up a diplomatic presence in Iraq by appointing an ambassador and opening an embassy in Baghdad.

"The United States can do a lot for Iraq, but we cannot provide Iraq with an anchor in the Arab world, a kind of legitimacy for the new Iraqi project that comes from being fully integrated in its neighborhood," the U.S. official said.

"And I think clearly some of our friends in the Arab world can do more on that score," he said on condition of anonymity.

But analysts were skeptical that Cheney would make any major breakthroughs.

"I don't think that he's going to be able to bring back anything meaningful because he's got nothing to offer," Steven Simon, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said.

"He represents a lame duck president, a floundering economy, a situation in which the U.S. for all its efforts in Iraq has no leverage on the government in Baghdad," Simon said.

Cheney throughout his trip will discuss the situation in Iraq, where security has improved, but violence persists five years after the U.S.-led invasion.

Bush will soon receive a new assessment from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, that he will weigh in deciding whether any changes to U.S. strategy are needed.

Cheney will tell allies that the United States remains concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions and would like to see its growing regional influence contained.

"I expect in all of these countries that the challenge we face from Iran will be a very high topic of conversation," the U.S. administration official said.

The message for Turkey, which has been fighting Kurdish rebels known as the PKK in northern Iraq, will be that the United States agrees "the PKK is a terrorist organization that needs to be defeated," and will continue to support Turkey in addressing the problem, the official said.

Araghchi arrives in Vienna to attend 4th round of JCPOA talks
Araghchi arrives in Vienna to attend 4th round of JCPOA talks
Iraq commits to return Iran's debts
Iraq commits to return Iran's debts
Iran expects sanctions to be lifted soon - President Rouhani
Iran expects sanctions to be lifted soon - President Rouhani
Loading Bars
Latest
Food prices continue to climb in April - FAO
Turkey reports over 22 388 COVID-19 cases
At least 23 killed in Rio de Janeiro favela gun battle
Kyrgyzstan is interested in establishing joint Kyrgyz-Korean enterprises
Turkey's 1Q2021 revenues from car export to int'l market grow
We reject, don't recognize decision of Latvian gov't on so-called "Armenian genocide" - Turkish Defense Ministry
Georgia launches campaign to popularize state agricultural insurance program
New “Azerbaijan” Ro-Pax ship built in country’s shipyard to make its first voyage from Port of Baku (PHOTO/VİDEO)
Former Maldives president hurt in blast outside home
Turkey’s inactive COVID-19 vaccine makes it to WHO list
Saudi Arabia showing interest in importing Azerbaijan's AzGranata products
Araghchi arrives in Vienna to attend 4th round of JCPOA talks
Kazakhstan - Greece trade down y-o-y
Georgian banks see profit in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan’s Azerishig company opens tender to buy various combined, storage accessories
Uzbek TPP to use German equipment for energy production
Azerbaijani national team holds podium training for upcoming Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku (VIDEO)
International Bank of Azerbaijan opens tender to buy Cisco network switches
Kazakhstan, Russia lift mutual restrictions on import, transit of livestock products
World auto concerns’ production volume to decrease during 6M2021
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office welcomes release of Armenian detainees by Azerbaijan
Greece decreases petroleum oil exports from Kazakhstan
Sputnik Light vaccine can be used for people aged 18-60
Moderna booster increases antibodies against COVID-19 variants, early data shows
Azerbaijan names amount of subsidies paid out for cropping
Yerevan ready to exert all efforts to fulfill trilateral agreements on Karabakh - acting PM of Armenia
Lebanon could gradually go dark as cash for electricity runs out
New greenhouse to be built in Turkmenistan’s Mary region
Several digitalization projects implemented in Kazakh oil & gas sector
Kazakhstan's president decides to provide humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan
Real estate purchases soar in Kazakhstan
Saudi Arabia eyes importing finished meat products from Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's non-oil exports show positive trend despite impact of COVID-19 - minister
Kazakh Kazgeology eyes working on promising areas of natural resources
Main part of Iran's trade carried out by sea - analyst
Israel and Korea to sign free trade agreement next week
EU continues to support Georgia SMEs
Azerbaijan launches system for predicting impact of tax benefits on state revenues
Azerbaijan's AzFina, CBA developing bill on regulation of payment systems
Georgia's minister claims inflation in country to decrease in coming months
Kazakhstan reports increase in oil, natural gas prices
Azerbaijan may change procedure for navigation on inland waters for fishing vessels
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for May 6
Construction of Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway in Azerbaijan continues (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan confirms 844 more COVID-19 cases, 2,057 recoveries
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy power cables via tender
Kazakh-Georgian Economic Union to focus on int'l trade and dev't of transport services - Honorary Consul
First section of Georgian Rikoti Highway to open soon
Kazakh IT company involved in creation of "smart" settlements in Azerbaijan
Japanese TEPSCO to join creating green energy zone in Azerbaijan's liberated territories
Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency eyes to purchase new mine clearance equipment
Uzbek-Korean JV opens tender for construction of security facility for gas treatment
Turkmen Ministry of Construction extends tender for design of buildings
Georgia to host annual meeting of ADB board of governors
Spain tourist arrivals slump 76% in March, recovery still far off
Azerbaijan's construction sector output to grow till 2026 - expert
Trade ministry discloses volume of cereals imported by Austria from Turkey
Share of mining sector in Baku's industrial production disclosed
Amazing opportunities created for athletes in Baku’s National Gymnastics Arena - Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of chemicals
Kazakhstan's National Bank unveils preliminary balance of payments data
Statistics on trade turnover between Spain, Turkmenistan revealed
Uzbekistan receives permission to export pomegranates to China
Moderna raises 2021 sales forecast for COVID-19 vaccine to $19.2 billion
Not calling released soldiers as "POWs" by OSCE Minsk Group - outrageous - Armenian media
Tesla developing platform to allow car owners in China data access
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Over 10 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Saudi Arabia
Russia reports over 7,600 COVID-19 cases in the past day
Revanchist statements in Armenia mustn't be taken seriously - Azerbaijani Security Council
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan fluctuate
No reason to worry about fulfillment of trilateral statement - Azerbaijan's Security Council
Nominations for gas flows at TAP’s interconnections
Azerbaijan to build road to legendary "Isa Spring" in Shusha city
EU countries agree to open up to Israeli tourists
Turkmenistan names data on deposits in credit institutions
Iran unveils volume of transit through Gilan Province
Largest share of Uzbek textile production falls on Fergana region
Turkey boosts export of cars to Kazakhstan
Turkey publishes data on 4M2021 steel exports
Iran's Amir-Kabir Petrochemical Company beats sets new production record
Turkey's 4M2021 exports of locally-made furniture up in value
Turkey reveals 4M2021 data on export of grains, legumes to Azerbaijan
Exports through Iran's Astara border checkpoint increase
Uzbekistan to launch several TPPs in 2021
Uzbek agency reveals data on most profitable companies
ADB approves loan for construction of Georgia’s Olympic swimming pool
Georgia in talks with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax to receive vaccines
Georgian ISET-PI shares pricing on residential real estate in Tbilisi
Georgian Pension Agency shares data on pension fund's assets
Uzbekistan reveals number of vaccinated people
Kazakh uranium extracting company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan decreases trade with Canada amid COVID-19
China increases import of Turkish-made cars
Turkey reveals 1Q2021 data on cargo movement via local ports from Belgium
Kaspersky Lab shares data on Azerbaijani users facing cyber attacks in 2020
Several facilities in education sector put into operation in Iran
Gold production at Iran's Zarshouran mine increases
Azerbaijan to completely clear "Victory Road" to Shusha city of mines soon
Azerbaijan shares details on mine clearance in liberated territories
All news