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Trump could do in Mideast what Reagan did to end the Cold War, advisor argues

In his role as head of Donald Trump's Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack told CNBC on Wednesday that world leaders have expressed a yearning for the president-elect to build bridges within the global community.

"The world is in such a terrible situation," said Barrack, a Trump advisor and founder of real estate powerhouse Colony Capital.

"On the foreign policy side, he has an opportunity that nobody's had," Barrack asserted on "Squawk Box." "He could do in the Middle East what Reagan and Maggie Thatcher did to bring down the wall."

Barrack was referring to President Ronald Reagan's partnership with U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Cold War that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the liberation of Eastern Europe.

AP

"Everybody is ready" for this kind of moment in the Mideast, Barrack said. "The foreign leaders are ready."

"They haven't had anybody to talk to," he claimed, in a veiled swipe at President Barack Obama's leadership around the world that's been viewed by Republicans as weak and not putting the best interest of the United States first.

Obama, of course, sees his foreign policy legacy quite differently.

At his farewell speech in Chicago Tuesday night, the president listed what he believes were greatest accomplishments on the world stage, citing opening up diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first in more than 50 years, temporarily shutting down Iran's nuclear weapons program "without firing a shot," and taking out the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden.

The hotspots in the Mideast have troubled Democratic and Republican administrations alike, with not only the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a concern today, but the rise of terrorism in the region, the heating up of the civil war in Syria, and Iran's saber-rattling among the major issues.

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