"Expectations are rising with every speech"

While the president is popular among many Europeans, he returned from his second trip to Europe with little more progress on key issues than he achieved during his first trip there in April, including over committing additional troops for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

White House officials have said the president’s address to the Muslim world has been overwhelmingly positive — among Arabs and beyond. Mr. Telhami said Mr. Obama’s even-handed, tough assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian issue and his promises of progress have grabbed the region’s attention and stimulated constructive debate.

But it also has raised the pressure on the administration to carry through, not only on peace initiatives but also on the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, the closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the enforcement of a ban on torture.