U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister, at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum.
DOHA, Qatar — Nine months after President Obama held out the promise of a “new beginning” for the United States and the Muslim world, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton came to this Persian Gulf emirate on Sunday to plead for patience, conceding that the Obama administration had not yet delivered on some of its signature foreign-policy goals.
From the stalled Middle East peace process to the still-open prison at Guantánamo Bay, in Cuba, to the diplomatic deadlock with Iran over its nuclear program, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged a list of unfinished projects, which she said had sowed suspicion that the American commitment was “insufficient or insincere.”
“I understand why people might be impatient,” Mrs. Clinton said in an address to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a conference jointly sponsored by the Qatari government and the Brookings Institution. “Building a stronger relationship cannot happen overnight or even in a year.”
But Mrs. Clinton threw some of the onus for improving the atmosphere back on the Arab nations, saying they needed to assume more responsibility for helping jump-start peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and for standing up against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“President Obama’s vision was not one of a single country seeking to write a new chapter on its own,” Mrs. Clinton said of the president’s speech last June at Cairo University. “It was a call for all of us to take responsibility for retiring stereotypes and outdated views.”
Some of those stereotypes were plainly on view at this elite conference, an assembly of 300 Muslim and Western government officials, businesspeople, scholars and religious figures.
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