President Obama to deliver speech on Middle East policy

President Barack Obama is expected to make a key address next Thursday laying out his vision for a new Middle East policy in light of

WOODBURY - President Barack Obama is expected to make a key address next Thursday laying out his vision for a new Middle East policy in light of the-so called "Arab Spring."

The "Arab Spring" refers to the political upheaval in the region, where democratic protesters have shaken up autocratic regimes, toppling those in Egypt and Tunisia, and prompting U.S. military action in Libya.

In his address, Obama is expected to announce a plan for what role the U.S. should play in the changing political climate of the Middle East.

Jim Klurfeld, a Middle East political expert and journalism professor at Stony Brook University, says the president will have to strike the right balance.

"You don't want to appear as if the United States is going to dictate what's going to happen," he says. "And yet at the same time, we're the biggest player there is."

Obama is also expected to discuss the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Political analyst Larry Levy says this part of the speech could be critical to courting Jewish voters for Obama's 2012 re-election bid.

The speech will come one day before talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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