The Obama administration has been mounting pressures on Arab countries to normalise relations with Israel to help advance peacemaking. US peace envoy to the Middle East George J. Mitchell has travelled almost monthly to the region to encourage Arab countries take gestures towards Israel. Obama has also backed that effort by writing private letters to Arab leaders making the case for “confidence-building measures”. The Saudi foreign minister urged Israel to first respond to the Arab peace initiative. “The question is not what the Arab world will offer,” Prince Al-Faisal said. “The question really is: what will Israel give in exchange for this comprehensive offer,” he said, referring to the Saudi-sponsored Arab peace initiative.