RAMALLAH, March 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East tour is aimed at underscoring the strong alliance between the United States and Israel in face of dramatic changes in the region, Arab observers and analysts said.
Obama said upon his arrival in Tel Aviv Wednesday that his country is proud to stand by the side of Israel, and it was not a coincidence that Israel is the first foreign country he visits during his second term.
Israel was worried by the changes taken place in the Arab world, including the overthrown of several long-time rulers, the prolonged crisis in Syria and Iran's nuclear issue, experts said.
Khalil Shahin, a West Bank-based political analyst, told Xinhua that the focus of Obama's Middle East is the Jewish state instead of the whole region. This is his first visit to Israel as U.S. president.
He wants to correct his mistakes of ignoring Israel, Shahin said.
The United States and Israel share common interests in confronting extremist Sunni militant groups, the analyst said, for that, they need to strengthen cooperation on intelligence, economy, security and military.
The two sides need to step up political coordination on the peace process as well, Shahin added.
Hani Habib, a Gaza-based political analyst said there would be nothing new concerning the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Palestinians would face more pressure with Israel's settlement construction going on.
Mekhemer Abu Se'da, a political science professor at the al-Azhar University in Gaza, said meetings between the two sides would not make achievements as long as Israel doesn't halt settlement construction and release Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
Besides, Abu Se'da said that one of Obama's most important goal is to see what influence does the Syrian crisis have on Israel.
On Iran's nuclear issue, both Israel and the United States agree that Iran must not process nuclear weapons, but at odds over the timing of a preventative military action, Abu Se'da said.
Obama also wants to persuade Israel to restrain from military actions against Iran, which could embarrass Washington, experts added.