Senator John Kerry (D-MA) “said that US policy toward the Middle East needs a ‘readjustment’ to reflect the new realities of the region, which is at a boiling point with mass uprisings,” the AFP reports.
"Too often over the past decade we have seen regimes in the region chiefly as bulwarks in the fight against terrorism, while looking away from abuses we find unconscionable," Kerry said in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"We can no longer view the Middle East solely through the lens of September 11. Now, we must view it through the lens of 2011," said Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Democrat from the state of Massachusetts said the US policy toward the Middle East over recent decades "has been driven by our addiction to foreign oil. Democracy and human rights have been overshadowed."
But regime change in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as uprisings in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, he said, present "an enormous challenge both for the people of the region and for America’s relationship with them."
Kerry said he plans to travel to the Middle East "in the coming days."