Archive

Archive for March, 2013

Afghanistan president asks for help to negotiate with Taliban

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

With the search for a political settlement in Afghanistan now a priority, negotiating with the Taliban regime has become a reality. The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has flown to Qatar to speak to the Emir of Qatar about opening of a Taliban office in Doha. President Karzai was on a mission to the Gulf state to ascertain whether a possible peace deal with the militants could be …
Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags:

US official: "Qatar acting like the ‘mouse that roared’ …

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

MEPGS: Excerpts;

“…President Obama’s trip to Israel was widely hailed as a great success.  Though, in the opinion of many, long overdue [State Department officials were urging the White House to reach out to the Israeli public from the time of his 2009 Cairo speech to the Moslem World]. Nonetheless, even the President’s most vocal critics, privately conceded that it was, at least, a major public relations coup. And by pulling off a last minute phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Prime Minister Erdogan, which seems to have resulted in the beginnings of a rapproachment between the one time allies and close friends of the US, he also appeared to add substance to his visit..?Nonetheless, his visit and that of his newly minted Secretary of State, John Kerry, made little in the way of progress on the most intractable problems in the region. As one State Department official put it, “We have gotten nowhere on the Iranian nuclear issue, Syria continues its slide into ever more violent chaos and little remarked upon but uppermost in the minds of many of us, is the downward economic and political spiral that is occuring in Egypt.?The latter issue was the subject of intense discussions between Kerry and Gulf leaders in Riyadh.  While Syria may have topped their list of concerns, the US pressed first and most vigorously on the question of aid to Egypt.  The Moslem Brotherhood-led government of Mohamed Morsi has, in the words of one US expert “badly mismanaged” the Egyptian economy.  An International Monetary Fund delegation, which visited Cairo 10 days ago, was again frustrated in its attempts to get Morsi & Co. to deal with the ruinous state of the Egyptian economy, first by reducing, if not eliminating state subsidies [To be fair to Morsi, says one State Department veteran, when former President Mubarak tried to reduce food subsidies, his efforts were met by wide spread rioting].  Still, Kerry tried to push the wealthy Gulf States to provide financial support, or at least investment in Egypt.  But the answer, according to well-placed US officials, was a resounding `No’.?In fact, US officials consider some of the Gulf states to be working against the current Egyptian regime.  In particular, the United Arab Emirates has been vocal in its opposition to the “Brothers”.  Meanwhile, there are a number of wealthy Saudi supporters of the even more radical Salafists in Egypt, and they have become more active than ever.  As one veteran US official sums up the situation:  “Egypt is too big to fail.  This is a country that controls one of the world’s most important waterways [The Suez Canal] and whose population comprises one quarter of the Arab world]….the US has been unable to “light a fire” under the Gulfis on Egypt, the reverse can be said to be the case with the Gulf states’, led by Qatar, to get the US more involved in the chaos that is now Syria.  Once again acting like “The Mouse that Roared,” Qatar has led the charge to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus. ….  But to the Gulf states and increasingly our French and British allies, the goal of Assad’s removal as soon as possible trumps the concerns about which group will gain the upper hand if the regime in Damascus collapses. …
If published reports are accurate, there has been some movement by the Administration towards greater involvement.  “With increased humanitarian aid, some covert support based in Jordan and the high profile visit by Kerry to Baghdad to persuade the Iraqis to stop facilitating Iranian supplies to Assad, we are, says one US official, willy-nilly winding up on the side of the Sunnis, in their fight against Iran” (and the so-called Shia-arc that stretches from Teheran to Beirut). …”


Go to Source

Categories: Arab Blogs Tags:

The World Must Unite Against the US-Saudi-Israeli Proxy War in Syria

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

“… The US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have admitted to colluding together, flooding Syria with thousands of tons of weapons via Jordan to Syria’s south, and NATO-member Turkey to Syria’s north. And in an otherwise inexplicable conundrum, while the likes of US Secretary of State John Kerry insist this torrent of weapons is being directed to “moderates,” neither the US nor its allies are able to explain why Al Qaeda terror front Jabhat al-Nusra has emerged as the most heavily armed, best equipped militant organization in the conflict.


Go to Source

Categories: Arab Blogs Tags:

Sarkozy working for Qatar (EUR 3 millions per year!)

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

“… So what’s actually going to happen is that the Emirate of Qatar is going to have its state-controlled sovereign wealth fund back a private equity firm called Columbia Investments that “would have an office in London in which the former president would visit one or two days a week, according to a person familiar with the matter.” The investment will be worth €250 million and as the authors note “[b]ased on the typical 1.5 per cent fees levied by private equity groups for managing €250m, the former president and his investment team would stand to gain more than €3m annually.” What will the firm be doing? The plan is to “invest in ‘European reconstruction’ – companies in continental Europe, with a particular emphasis on Spain.”


Go to Source

Categories: Arab Blogs Tags:

Hamas Gaza ruler meets Egypt intelligence chief

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s state news agency says the Gaza Strip’s Hamas ruler has met with Egypt’s intelligence chief to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and the cease-fire between the militant group and Israel.
Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags:

Palestinian leader clamps down on critics

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

In this Saturday, 30 March, 2013 photo, Palestinian journalist Mamdooh Hamamreh adjusts his glasses during an interview to the Associated Press in the West Bank village of Hussan, near Bethlehem. Last week an appeals court in the West Bank upheld a one-year prison term for Mamdooh Hamamreh for "defaming" Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a Facebook post. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)HUSSAN, West Bank (AP) — Mahmoud Abbas' government in the West Bank is getting tougher with critics, interrogating, prosecuting and even jailing several journalists and bloggers in recent months for allegedly "defaming" the Western-backed Palestinian leader.

Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags:

Egyptian TV satirist released after questioning

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

A bodyguard secures popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef, who has come to be known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, as he enters Egypt's state prosecutors office to face accusations of insulting Islam and the country's Islamist leader in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Government opponents said the warrant against such a high profile figure, known for lampooning President Mohammed Morsi and the new Islamist political class, was an escalation in a campaign to intimidate critics. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)CAIRO (AP) — A popular television satirist known as Egypt's Jon Stewart was released on bail Sunday after nearly five hours of interrogation over allegations that he broke the law by insulting Islam and the president.

Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags:

Syria accuses rebels of setting fire to oil wells

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

BEIRUT (AP) — Heavy shelling in a neighborhood in the northern city of Aleppo sent civilians fleeing for their lives on Sunday, and the state news agency accused rebels trying to topple the government of setting fire to three oil wells.
Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags:

Dael?

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

The language deficiencies of Western correspondents are staggering. They render the Syrian town of Da’il as “Dael”.

Go to Source

Categories: Arab Blogs Tags:

Pope delivers Easter plea for peace

March 31st, 2013 Comments off

Pope Francis delivers a passionate plea for world peace – singling out “dear Syria” – in his first Easter Sunday speech since being elected.
Go to Source

Categories: Arab News Tags: