The Bush administration has launched a "Greater Middle East Initiative" to promote democracy, reports the Washington Post [registration required]:
Scheduled to be announced at the G-8 summit hosted by President Bush at Sea Island, Ga., in June, [the initiative] would call for Arab and South Asian governments to adopt major political reforms, be held accountable on human rights -- particularly women's empowerment -- and introduce economic reforms, U.S. and European officials said.
As incentives for the targeted countries to cooperate, Western nations would offer to expand political engagement, increase aid, facilitate membership in the World Trade Organization and foster security arrangements, possibly some equivalent of the Partnership for Peace with former Eastern Bloc countries.
The initiative is loosely modeled on the 1975 Helsinki accords signed by 35 nations and regarded by many as "one of the most influential international pacts signed after World War II, [that] sped the demise of Eastern Bloc communism":
Unlike Helsinki, however, the administration's master plan for the "greater Middle East" seeks to avoid creating committees and structures to strictly monitor progress and issue report cards, U.S. officials say. It also seeks to avoid appearing to dictate to the Islamic world.
[via Daniel W. Drezner]