Egyptian mediators are meeting with leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and other Palestinian organizations, and with Israeli officials.
Over the next four years the U.S. will face a number of foreign policy issues, most of them regional, some of them global.
Ahmed al-Jabari and another top Hamas official Mohammed al-Hams were killed during a wave of raids in retaliation for rockets fired into southern Israel.
The war in Syria has taken a turn for the worse with two recent developments: Turkey's military involvement, and the growing role of extremist groups.
The most volatile tinderbox area of the world where the danger of war exists is the Middle East.
Dissidents continue to organize protests against the government of Bahrain, a Persian Gulf kingdom known for its large scale oil production.
The political opposition is completely barred from the election. Almost all political groupings of democratic orientation have called for a boycott of the sham.
Qatar is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, yet the majority of its population are immigrant workers who are harshly exploited with few rights.
The talk of covert action, "no fly zones," and military involvement via proxies has ratcheted up following the Russian and Chinese veto of a UN Security Council resolution.
Hundreds of thousands rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in other Egyptian cities Wednesday on the first anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising that led to the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak.