Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, has switched from a policy of isolation toward engagement. Some hope the warming could bolster US Middle East peace efforts.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the Muslim holiday signaling the end of Ramadan to reach out to the Taliban, while Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei denounced Israel.
Across the Middle East, what would never happen in polite company now appears on broadcasts of The Doha Debates – discussion of controversy.
The respected delegation, headed by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, irked Israel by initially planning to meet Hamas in Gaza. That trip has been delayed.
We must defend freedom in Iran soon – or deal with nuclear-armed fanatics later.
The Western-backed March 14 coalition won an unexpectedly large parliamentary majority – 71 of 128 seats – over the opposition, led by the Iranian-backed militant group.
His speech should aim to launch a new dialogue between two estranged communities of the world, some regional experts say.
The president stopped in Saudi Arabia, where 79 percent of residents view him favorably, on Wednesday. But in Cairo tomorrow, he'll address a skeptical audience of 1.4 billion Muslims.