Colin Powell's Mission in the Middle East

Download Audio

Secretary of State Colin Powell has received a chilly reception from his moderate Arab allies so far during his visit to the Middle East.

In Morocco, King Mohammed pushed Powell to jack up the pressure on Israel, asking the Secretary, "Don't you think it was more important to go to Jerusalem first?" In Egypt, Powell's visit was met with several flag-burning protests.

The most important leg of Powell's trip comes at the end of the week, when he meets with Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat. But considering how rough the trip has been so far, Powell's modest goal of getting some sort of end to the current wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians seems even more a long shot than it did when the trip first began.

This hour, the role of diplomacy in ending the fighting in the Middle East. Can Colin Powell's visit bring the two sides closer together? Or is there nothing that international diplomacy can do to solve the current crisis?


William Beeman, professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies at Brown University

This program aired on April 10, 2002.


More from On Point

Listen Live