Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts

June 23, 2017

Full text of the list of demands submitted by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt to Qatar

    Friday, June 23, 2017   No comments
ISR comment: Four Arab States want Qatar to close down Aljazeera, a sign that the current crisis is in fact a reaction to and fear of the protest movements popularly known as the Arab Spring. It was on the pages of ISR that the role of Aljazeera in galvanizing social change in the Arab world was thoroughly explained and it was on the pages of ISR that the first prediction that the Gulf States will implode from the inside as a result of the change initiated by the protest movement that overthrew Ben Ali (now living in Saudi Arabia) and Mubarak (now back from prison after Sisi regained power).
A summary of the demands submitted by the Saudis, Bahrainis, Emiratis, and Egyptians to Qatar through Kuwait:
1. Reduce diplomatic ties with Iran and close its diplomatic missions there. Expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from Qatar and cut off any joint military cooperation with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with U.S. and international sanctions will be permitted.

2. Shutting down the Turkish military base in Qatar and stop any military agreements with Turkey inside Qatar

3. Announce the cutting of ties to “terrorist organizations,” including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and Hezbollah. Formally declare those entities as terrorist groups.

4. Stop providing financial support to entities and individuals list on the list previously provided by the four nations.

5. Handover all persons accused of terrorists and seize their property.

6. Shut down Al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

7. Stop interfering in the affairs of neighboring states, stop offering citizens to persons from neighboring states, and provide a list of citizens of neighboring states who were offered Qatar citizenship.

8. Pay for all damages caused by Qatar policy and practices in neighboring states.

9. Assure full compliance with Arab decision and agree to honor the Riyadh agreements with Gulf nations of 2013 and 2014.

10. Submit a list of documents by and about opposition figures supported by Qatar.

11. Shut down news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly (i.e., Arabi21, Rassd, al-Araby Al-Jadeed, and Middle East Eye).

12. Agree to all these terms within 10 days or it will be considered void.

13. the agreement shall consist of clear mechanism of compliance, including monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year, and annually for ten years thereafter.

December 7, 2016

Is Qatar training Egyptian fighters in Idlib, Syria?

    Wednesday, December 07, 2016   No comments
Qatar’s global media outlet, Aljazeera, reported that 200 Egyptian military officers and experts are now in Syria. The report, is based on a Lebanese source, came days after the Egyptian president, Abdulfattah al-Sisi, in an interview to Portuguese media, said that he supported the Syrian national army in its war on terrorists. This seemingly new position has angered the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who back the Syrian opposition fighters and have been pushing for the removal of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Some sources, however, have also revealed that Qatar is training Egyptian Islamists in Idlib, Syria. This revelation could explain the increased collaboration between the Syrian and Egyptian governments. Egypt, like Syria, has been battling Salafi and other Islamist militants. If these elements are being trained in Syria and supported by Qatar, Egypt will be forced to collaborate with the Syrian and Libyan governments who are facing the same threats. 

Fath al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra front, which is backed by Qatar, controls Idlib, and has released multiple videos showing individuals engaged in war games, with indication that some of these fighters are not training for the war in Syria, which could support the assertion that Idlib is turning into training grounds for fighters from other countries, including Egypt, China, Tunisia, France, and Algeria.

It should be noted also that when al-Julani, the leader of al-Nusra, announced the name change of his group's name into Jabhat Fath al-Sham, sitting next to him was a known Egyptian Salafist, another reason for Egypt to be concerned about the role of Qatar in supporting groups that might pose a security threat to Egypt.

 al-Julani, announcing the name change of al-Nusra Front

February 20, 2015

Saudi and Qatari dilemma: Can they support al-Sisi in his war on ISIL and support ISIL in its war on Assad?

    Friday, February 20, 2015   No comments

When Prince Salman became King Salman, world leaders wanted to know about the man now controlling the country that exports more oil than any other, Saudi Arabia. Several leading publications claimed that the 79 year old king suffers from serious chronic illnesses. The Economist proposed that his predecessor, King Abdullah, had concerns about handing the crown to Salman because Salman may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease.  The Atlantic, too, reported in 2010 that Salman suffered from dementia. The official reaction of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the intergovernmental organization that is supposed to represent the wealthy Gulf States but actually serves to promote Saudi interests and point of view, to Egypt's claim that Qatar supports terrorism, suggests that the King might be indeed suffering from dementia. The background for this story is as follows:

December 23, 2014

“This is What the Arab Spring Looks Like”

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014   No comments

Tunisia’s transition to representative governance brings hope to Arab Societies

Four days after the fourth anniversary of the spark that ignited the fury of protests widely known as the Arab Spring, Tunisian voters reminded the world about what the Arab Spring is supposed to look like. The election of a new president this week capped four years of hard work that involved politicians and leaders of civil society institutions. In four years, Tunisians elected a constituency assembly primarily tasked with forming a transitional government and writing a new constitution. Those goals, despite many setbacks, were finally achieved. In the past three months, Tunisian voters elected a parliament, narrowed the field of presidential candidates (of more than 24 candidates) during a first round of presidential elections, and finally chose Beji Caid Essebsi, giving him 55% of their vote over the interim president, Mohamed Mouncef Marzouki.

March 30, 2014

Obama in Saudi Arabia to talk security and terrorism; the Saudis seem prepared, but are they really?

    Sunday, March 30, 2014   No comments

The new Saudi anti-terrorism law is anti-dissent, anti-civil rights draconian law?
For weeks even before President Obama’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, the rulers of Saudi Arabia have worked hard to make the summit successful. They knew that extremism, regional stability, and the Middle East peace process are high on the U.S. administration’s agenda. The Saudi rulers wanted to show that they are trustworthy, that they are fighting terrorism, and that they are a reliable and stable ally. Specifically, they will be showing President Obama two things: a new law that is supposedly aimed at fighting extremism and an unprecedented designation of an heir to the heir to the throne (Prince Muqrin—half-brother of the King).

March 1, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, Sisi, and the future of Egypt

    Saturday, March 01, 2014   No comments
A. F. al-Sisi
by Jared Ethan Krauss 
IN a move that surprised everyone not in Sisi’s circle, the cabinet has resigned.
The move comes as, in recent weeks, criticism and protests of the interim government have grown.  Egypt has seen no economic improvements since the revolution, and violence has only increased since the ouster of Morsi. While the fervor whipped up by Sisi just after the coup—where he was seemingly given permission by Egyptians to ‘fight terrorism’—was enough to sustain popular support the first few weeks or months, it was not enough to do away with the harsh realities of life for many Egyptians.  

February 8, 2014

How different are the new constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

    Saturday, February 08, 2014   No comments

How different are the new constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

The two countries transformed first by the Arab Spring now have new constitutions. The two countries are similar in many ways. Yet, the processes of producing their respective constitutions and the substance of each document point to the forces that made these legal documents similar in some areas and different in others. In both cases, it took more than two years to reach this point, underscoring the difficulty the drafters of the two documents have faced.

Notably, the Tunisian constitution was drafted by an elected body (Constitutional Assembly), whereas the current version of the Egyptian constitution was “edited” by an appointed committee after the deposition of the post-revolution (elected) president Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian constitution, however, was endorsed by Egyptian voters, while the Tunisian constitution was adopted once it was endorsed by the majority of the members of the Constitutional Assembly.

December 3, 2013

Text of constitutional amendments: First three parts (articles 1-83) of Egypt's constitutional amendments adopted by the 50-member committee

    Tuesday, December 03, 2013   No comments

Part 1: The state

Article 1

The Arab Republic of Egypt is a sovereign state, united, indivisible and inalienable. Its governance system is democratic and based on citizenship and the rule of law.

The Egyptian people are part of the Arab world, work toward its integration and unification. Egypt is a part of the Islamic world, belongs to the African continent, proud of its Asian reach and participates in the building of human civilization.

November 15, 2013

Morsi Trial Subverts Legitimacy

    Friday, November 15, 2013   No comments
by Jacob Havel
As the trial for deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi continues, his supporters and Egyptian military forces are both on high alert. Morsi has been charged with inciting violence and murder during large protests outside the presidential palace last December. Brotherhood leaders have called for and received massive protests over the trial, which pro Morsi activists have deemed illegitimate. The government has responded by mustering 20,000 armed security personnel as well as blocking off Tahrir Square. Morsi himself has rejected to observe the authority of the court on the grounds that the coup itself constituted illegal actions. The trial will, in some ways, represent the culmination of a recent anti-Muslim Brotherhood crackdown which as elevated bloodshed on both sides of the conflict.

November 4, 2013

Why are the rulers of Saudi Arabia losing their cool?

    Monday, November 04, 2013   No comments

The Umayyad Syndrome

For more than seventy years, Saudi Arabia has cultivated the image of a state run by level-headed, moderate, wise, deliberate, and cool-headed leaders. Publicly, its diplomats gave the impression that the Kingdom would chose dialogue over confrontation, moderation over extremism, and reconciliation over antagonism. Wikileaks unveiled the true nature of the regime when it revealed that the rulers of Saudi Arabia were in fact leading two lives: one public and another private.

August 25, 2013

A fragile alliance: how the crisis in Egypt caused a rift within the anti-Syrian government block

    Sunday, August 25, 2013   No comments

 A fragile alliance: how the crisis in Egypt caused a rift within the anti-Syrian government block
by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate (UAE), Turkey, and the West condemned in unison the Syrian government for its harsh treatment of Syrians from the first day of the uprising in that country. Many observers were skeptical of the stated reasons for this sudden interest in human rights issues given that the Gulf States are in fact models of repressive governance. As the reaction to the Egyptian crisis revealed, the opposition to the Syrian government was not motivated by the stated goals (support for democracy and condemnation for authoritarianism). It was dictated by narrow political, ideological, and sectarian interests.

August 17, 2013

Egypt’s scorched earth: What is suggested here is that these assaults comprise an orchestrated plan to avenge by and for the Brothers

    Saturday, August 17, 2013   No comments
by Mariz Tadros
Thursday was a day of funerals in Egypt. Most international actors have rightly condemned the ruthless violence witnessed against the pro-Morsi protestors, but with the exception of Catherine Ashton of the EU, they have turned a blind eye to the violence witnessed across the country over the course of the same day.

In reprisal for the assault on the protestors, pro-Morsi factions have literally set the country on fire. Just to give you a sense of the scope of devastation, this is a quick list of some of the targets:

Six police stations were attacked in Minya, some torched, and one in Fayoum

July 25, 2013

Why did the Salafi Party in Egypt support the removal of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Thursday, July 25, 2013   No comments

Balancing political interests and religious idealism in Islamic Societies

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*

Alarabiya channel cheered the ouster of Morsi and the Brotherhood
Many analysts and observers of Middle Eastern affairs were surprised when the Salafi political party, al-Nour, supported the protest movement and the military that ousted Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood from power. Some tried to explain it by highlighting the fundamental ideological differences between Salafi and non-Salafi Islamism. Others contended that what the Salafi have done was dictated by political acumen. Salafi leaders wanted to position al-Nour party and the Salafi movement as the heirs of the Brotherhood. The failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to govern and to include others in the process was also posited as a reason for the rift between the Salafis and the Brotherhood.

In my view, leaders of the Salafist political party abandoned Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood because their patrons, Saudi Arabia and UAE, wanted them to do so.

July 19, 2013

Majority, including supporters of National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, want a negotiated solution to the Syrian crisis

    Friday, July 19, 2013   No comments

The Coalition will either negotiate with the regime or it will become irrelevant

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
Responding to a non-scientific poll posted on the website of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (the Coalition), 66.2% of the respondents wanted the group to attend the Geneva-2 conference. In fact, 33.6% of the respondents wanted the Coalition to attend without any conditions. Only 30.8% thought that the Coalition should not negotiate. That sentiment reflects a non-scientific vote that ran on a website that is likely to be frequented by sympathizers with the Coalition. It is likely that if a similar poll surveyed people inside Syria, even more respondents would want the regime and the opposition groups to sit down and negotiate a political solution to the crisis. With that in mind, it is bewildering that leaders of the Coalition, including the new president, Ahmed Bin Awinen Asi AlJarba, have refused to enter into negotiations with the Syrian government.

July 17, 2013

The role of the military and the rulers of the Gulf States in stabilizing or de-stabilizing Egypt

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013   No comments
by Henelito A. Sevilla Jr*

The ouster of the first democratically elected president of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi, puzzled many analysts and made it hard to predict the future of Egypt. People from the beginning of the revolution have been asking for economic and political reform. Instead, Morsi’s government first step was to amend the constitution, giving himself more power. These conflicting priorities gave rise to massive demonstrations across the country.

July 16, 2013

Between the two camps, Egypt's media outlets have chosen to take sides in the ongoing tragic split

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013   No comments
by Ahmed Magdy Youssef*
Egypt's last two weeks’ incessant events not only gripped the minds and hearts of the Egyptians, but they captured the interest of the national and international media as well.

For many Egyptians, mostly those who filled public squares across the country to demand Mr. Morsi's removal and early presidential elections, the military's intervention on July 3 was inevitable to save the most heavily populated Arab country from slipping into a civil war.

July 15, 2013

International leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood meet in Turkey to strategize for the crisis in Egypt and to plan for the future

    Monday, July 15, 2013   No comments

Middle East Politics Reshuffle: The Future of Islam in the public sphere

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*

Ghannouchi to take a major role in Muslim Brotherhood International
The overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s government in Egypt on July 3rd, 2013 forced the group’s international leaders to rethink the movements options. This weekend, they gathered in Turkey. The meetings were closed to the public. The limited information that leaked out suggest that the Muslim Brotherhood International is not about to change its overall strategy or replace its aging leaders. Instead, they embraced the old guard again, in a sign that they are not about to look to the youth to transition to the new century. They elected Rached Ghannouchi, who presided over the Tunisian Islamist movement for over 32 years, to lead the political bureau. Looking forward, the movement’s leaders seem interested in limiting the damage of their fall in Egypt, not in renewing its thinking. There is no indication that they are looking at the Arab Spring in its proper context.

July 9, 2013

Rulers of Saudi Arabia and UAE throw their support behind the new regime in Egypt

    Tuesday, July 09, 2013  

By Fahd Makhtul

The rulers of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have taken the lead to shore up the new regime in Egypt. The two countries together are to provide nearly $8 billion in the form of goods, grants, and loans. 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia ordered an aid package totaling nearly $5 billion in the form of oil and gas supply, cash, and loans. 

Early yesterday, and Egyptian source confirmed that UAE had agreed to provide about $3 billion in aid to Egypt.

July 6, 2013

Arab Spring 2.0: Why did Morsi lose the presidency and how did the Muslim Brotherhood lose a revolution?

    Saturday, July 06, 2013   No comments

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*

Gruesome killings of Egyptian Shi`as contributed to Morsi's fall
Many Arabs, thirsty for real change, look at the events of the Arab Spring positively. Liberal, secular, conservative, and ultraconservative groups and individuals in the countries transformed by the Arab Spring who supported the overthrow of the old guard agree that these revolutions were necessary. They disagree on the post-revolution arrangement. The Arab Spring 2.0 that took place in Egypt on June 30th is a good example of the disagreement between former rebels about the future of the new Arab World. Analysts and observers of Middle East affairs are trying to make sense out of something that does not operate according to common sense. All that can be done is a sound analysis of the events and an objective account of the facts. I have received several inquiries for comments about the events in Egypt. A summary of these comments might provide some legal and historical context.

February 6, 2013

Leaders of the Islamic world are finally talking about minority rights and healthy dissent, kinda!

    Wednesday, February 06, 2013   No comments
 by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*

Representatives of 57 states, members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), convened for their regular summit in Cairo this week. Among the notable attendees is the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The latter received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport. The event is historical since this is the first visit by an Iranian president to Egypt since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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