Israel Still Excluded From Obama Administration's Touted Counter-Terror Forum

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Israel Still Excluded From Obama Administration's Touted Counter-Terror Forum


Six months after the Obama administration said it was "committed" to involving Israel in its flagship international counter-terrorism initiative, there has evidently been little progress, and the State Department indicated Wednesday it was still trying, CNSNews.com reports. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to attend a meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in the United Arab Emirates next week, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. would there again raise the issue with its GCTF partners. The Obama administration took flak from the start when it excluded Israel from the forum, because Israel has had decades of experience facing and combating terrorism -- far more than most other countries invited to join the forum. Critics said it was obvious Israel was left out because Muslim countries, which the administration wanted to draw in, would not have joined had Israel been involved. Eleven of the 29 countries welcomed into the GCTF are members of the 56-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); a senior administration official said last summer a key aim of the GCTR was to "bridge old and deep divides in the international community between Western donor nations and Muslim-majority nations."

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