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Ed Webb

Egyptian Leader Mohamed Morsi Spells Out Terms for U.S.-Arab Ties - NYTimes.com - 0 views

  • He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
  • If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
  • the United States should not expect Egypt to live by its rules
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  • “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.
  • When he grew animated, he slipped from Arabic into crisp English
  • “The president of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the commander of the armed forces, full stop. Egypt now is a real civil state. It is not theocratic, it is not military. It is democratic, free, constitutional, lawful and modern.”
  • But he also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.

    “As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.

  • But he also displayed some ambivalence. He effused about his admiration for American work habits, punctuality and time management. But when an interpreter said that Mr. Morsi had “learned a lot” in the United States, he quickly interjected a qualifier in English: “Scientifically!”

    He was troubled by the gangs and street of violence of Los Angeles, he said, and dismayed by the West’s looser sexual mores, mentioning couples living together out of wedlock and what he called “naked restaurants,” like Hooters.

    “I don’t admire that,” he said. “But that is the society. They are living their way.”

Ed Webb

Cultural Clash Fuels Muslims Raging at Film - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    For discussion on 9/17
Ed Webb

U.S. debt relief for Egypt is mostly politics - News - Aswat Masriya - 1 views

  • President Mohamed Mursi faces many challenges to get Egypt's finances into shape, but high foreign debt isn't one of them. Interest payments eat up one quarter of public spending but the burden stems from high domestic debt. Egypt's total external borrowing was just $35 billion or less than 15 percent of GDP, as of June 2011.
  • Military aid has benefited U.S. strategic interests by buying priority access to the Suez Canal and to Egyptian air space, as well as support for Middle East peace. Egypt's military view the payments as "untouchable compensation" for making peace with Israel, according to documents published by Wikileaks. The aid also supports U.S. defence equipment manufacturers, as the funds must be spent on American hardware and services.
Ed Webb

Opinion Briefing: Libyans Eye New Relations With the West - 1 views

  • Instability in Libya has already had ripple effects in the region, as many analysts believe that Libya's revolution may have contributed to Mali's crisis after pro-Gadhafi Tuaregs returned and allied with Islamists to dislodge the Malian government from half of the country. The West and the U.S. have an interest not only in ensuring Libya's stability, but also in keeping its energy on the international market and promoting Libyan democracy as an example in the region.
  • In 2012, 54% of Libyans approve of U.S. leadership -- among the highest approval Gallup has ever recorded in the Middle East and North Africa region, outside of Israel.
  • Libyans also approve of the leadership of the United Kingdom, which also supported the intervention in Libya. They are less enamored with Germany's leaders, who did not support the action. Libyans express little approval of the leadership of Russia and China, countries that were perceived by many as opposing rebel groups and NATO intervention.
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  • Unlike in Libya, revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt succeeded in overthrowing regimes without resorting to armed rebellion and foreign military support. Western military intervention in Libya's revolution likely raised suspicions of ulterior motives and may have reminded neighboring Arabs of prior, unpopular Western military campaigns in the region
  • More than three in four Libyans (77%) also support the West sending governance experts to their country, an important development in a country that will require major institution building for years to come. The majority (61%) also favor economic aid from the West. The only form of assistance that a majority of Libyans do not approve of is aid for political groups (34%).
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