Regardless who comes out ahead in US legislative elections, US peace efforts in the Middle East will remain unaffected, the US State Department said Tuesday, as President Barack Obama’s Democrats brace for a drubbing.
“Democratic and Republican administrations supported by Congress under Democratic or Republican leadership have all supported our pursuit for comprehensive Middle East peace,” department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
“So this is a significant national interest and I would not expect any electoral results to have an impact on that,” he added.
Analysts consulted by AFP in Jerusalem have predicted that a weakening of Obama’s Democratic Party in congressional elections would make Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu more resistant to demands for a new freeze on Jewish settlements.
With peace talks on hold over a dispute about settlements, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is relying on Washington to pressure Netanyahu into halting construction in the occupied West Bank before he will return to the table.
Crowley insisted that “foreign policy in the United States is bipartisan most of the time.
“It is in pursuit of our national interests which don’t change administration by administration or election by election.”
The spokesman however admitted that after Tuesday the political map of the US Congress “may change some of the key players,” as key committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate would have new leaders under Republican majorities.
Another senior administration agreed that regardless of the changes, US foreign policy would stay on track.
“In our system, foreign policy is primarily the province of the executive branch. That’s not going to change,” said the official who requested anonymity.