x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Egypt needs a leader like El Sisi

A leader like El Sisi can drive Egypt towards its final objective, writes Naji Saqeq Sharab in Al Khaleej. Other topics: Saudi war on terrorism (Mashari Al Thiyadi – Asharq El Awsat ), Geneva 2 (Zuhair Qasbani – Al Hayat)

Egypt’s defence minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El Sisi is no ordinary man. He is an exceptional leader for Egypt, wrote Naji Sadeq Sharab, a columnist with the Sharjah-based daily Al Khaleej.

“El Sisi displays the same characteristics that made great rulers such as Eisenhower, Abdel Nasser and Sheikh Zayed. Like him and many other celebrated leaders of the past, El Sisi’s ability to lead his country towards democratic change is contingent on his strong relationship with the people.”

Those same characteristics that befit such an exceptional leader are the same attributes that will allow him to maintain the Egyptian people’s support more after he becomes the president of the country, he added.

The first indications of his leadership is his ability to derive strength from his political legitimacy for making decisions at a difficult time. If Gen El Sisi is elected, then his administration will mark the first step for Egypt towards the democratic transition.

It is important to note that Egypt has always been targeted by those who seek power for its role and status in the region and, historically, Egypt has always emerged stronger in the face of adversity.

One only needs to see the hardships that Gamal Abdel Nasser faced during his tenure as president – from the time of the war of 1956 until the invasion of 1967 – to understand how, through each challenge, Egypt and it’s people have emerged more resilient than before.

In fact, what makes a leader is his submission to the will of his people. It is precisely that will to submit that makes Gen El Sisi the leader under whom Egypt might begin to regain its power after two revolutions.

It is important to note that Gen Elsisi is not an instigator of these revolutions, although he cannot be entirely excluded from that category. Whatever maybe the case, he is simply the answer to three years of struggle in Egypt.

Egypt faces many hurdles and Gen El Sisi’s has arrive at the seat of power to implement his desire to drive Egypt forward. I believe he will do exactly that, as he has stated before that he is not an advocate for absolute power but a subject to the will of the people.

Gen El Sisi is a man of the masses in whom the people can put their concerted faith. It is clear that whoever takes the reigns in Egypt must be prepared to face huge economic, political and cultural challenges.

These challenges cannot be met simply by a single man. However, a man with the support of his people can overcome those challenges. And Egypt will progress through these challenges as it has done so many times in the past, Sharab said in conclusion.

Saudi war against terror is exemplary

The latest Royal Decree against terrorism and extremism in Saudi Arabia is a milestone, not only for the kingdom but in the Muslim world and beyond, wrote Mashari Al Thiyadi in the pan-Arab daily Asharq El Awsat.

Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam, the Land of the Two Holy mosques”. This move embodies the declaration of war against terrorism and religious extremism.

The kingdom has truly entered a war against terror. It has been waging battles against Al Qaeda since the first bomb explosion in Riyadh in May 2003, on the social front and in media. The Royal Decree simply sets matters straight by prohibiting “adhesion to religious or ideological movements or groups, whether extremist or classified as terrorist at the local, regional or international level, as well as supporting or endorsing their ideology or methods in any possible way”.

A special committee has been established to draw up a list of extremist and terrorist entities.

“It appears as essential that this committee gathers experts and researchers in politics, socio-economics, religion and history, as the best weapon against these entities”, argued Al Thiyadi. Some elements may try to distract the committee from its primary target. “With such grand target, vigilance is essential”, he concluded.

Geneva negotiations should keep going

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy, doesn’t exaggerate when saying that he could put up with a “Geneva 50 or 60”, featuring rounds of negotiations between the Syrian regime and its opposition. He thus reassures Americans and Russians that he is prepared to face lengthy negotiations, wrote columnist Zuhair Qasbani in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

Mr Brahimi’s patience may be weighed in tonnes, very much like the Syrian regime’s chemical arsenal. The regime also possesses patience aplenty, tying its ropes around the necks of thousands, believing that playing the card of cross-border terrorist factions shall remain profitable. It is betting that the western countries will run out of patience.

“Practically speaking, the Syrian regime turned Geneva 2 into a boxing ring, while each party preaches its own convictions”, said Qasbani. In the meantime, the Assad regime inflicts more destruction on its own people. The process is yet another chance to test the Russians’ resilience, to see if they’re determined to support the regime, despite everything.

There is no lesser evil and that is why the Geneva process must continue and Mr Brahimi must maintain patience to bring solutions forward, step by step, concluded Qasbani.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk