President Obama Lays Out Plan For Middle East, North Africa08:40
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President Barack Obama delivers a policy address on events in the Middle East at the State Department in Washington, Thursday. (AP)
President Barack Obama delivers a policy address on events in the Middle East at the State Department in Washington, Thursday. (AP)

In a speech Thursday, President Obama outlined massive aid packages to fledgling Middle East and North African democracies and laid out what he believes will be the foundations for peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

The speech comes the week after George Mitchell resigned as Middle East envoy for the Obama Administration, and the same month that American special forces killed Osama bin Laden, who had been hiding for years in Pakistan.

With Jewish settlements expanding in the West Bank, and Arab youth from Yemen to Bahrain demanding change, President Obama has a lot of challenges in this part of the world.

We speak to Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Thanassis Cambanis — a journalist and teacher specializing in the Middle East. Cambanis is in Egypt.

This program aired on May 19, 2011.

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