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Keith Cowing and Frank Sietzen at SpaceRef report that NASA administrator Charles Bolden will soon be heading to Saudia Arabia, ostentively to continue NASA outreach to the Muslim world, with other less obvious motives pertaining to Israeli/Palestine peace negotiations. Key quote:
According to one of several sources knowledgeable on the subject “expect to see a wave of mid-level Administration appointees embarking on a round of carrot-and-stick sweetener overtures” to Saudi officials to entice them to join the Obama effort. For their part, the Saudi government wants the U.S. to exert greater pressure on Israel to stop construction of settlements in occupied territories that might someday be a key in a peace accord. In the meantime the Obama administration is trying to give the Saudis every incentive to craft a stronger relationship with the U.S.