x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Tensions ease and stability wins

Mohammed Morsi did well to bow to the concept of the rule of law, an Arabic-language newspaper says. Other topics today: Egyptian-Saudi relations and what Libya needs.

As both sides stand down from the new crisis, the Egyptian people reap the reward of stability

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's decision to accept the constitutional court's ruling to repeal his own resolution to reinstate the parliament was highly commendable, the London-based newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi said in its editorial on Thursday.

"He confirmed his keenness to prevent a political standoff in the country, one that threatened to develop into military battles that could have shaken Egypt's stability for months, if not years, to come," said the paper.

There are those who deem the president's submission to the highest court's decision to be a withdrawal, and it might be just that. However, there is no shame in it.

Upon his election as the legitimate leader of Egypt, Mr Morsi was no longer a member in a religious political movement and became a public figure at the head of the executive power. This requires from him a high level of pragmatism and flexibility.

"This isn't an attempt to justify the man's retraction as much as it is an effort to emphasise his qualities as a regional leader. Obstinacy in attitudes can be hazardous and often leads to unwanted repercussions," the paper added.

The president's defiant move last week to reinstate the dissolved parliament was overhasty and untimely.

He would have been better advised to practice patience and to focus, as a priority, on forming the government and getting himself and his administration more acquainted with details of ruling.

Mr Morsi, who hails from an Islamic movement that suffered persecution and isolation for more than 90 years, has yet to acquire the political savvy required to run a nation of Egypt's stature.

"He should have strengthened his alliances with various political fronts and that would have given him the security needed to take crucial decisions such as reinstating a dissolved parliament," opined Al Quds Al Arabi.

In making the initial decision to summon Parliament, President Morsi and many of the Islamic parties' members considered that the constitutional court's decision to dissolve the parliament they dominated as a majority had deprived them of a legitimate constitutional right.

The president's call to the parliament to reconvene was aimed, then, at rectifying what they saw as an injustice.

As for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that took over legislative powers following the parliament's dissolution, their calm and calculated neutral response to the president's act of defiance merits praise.

Scaf, a seasoned player in the Egyptian political arena for the past 40 years, insisted that it doesn't wish to become party to any legal battle between the president and the judiciary, and reaffirmed its respect for the constitution and the identity of Egypt as an institutional state.

Egypt-Saudi relations too solid to be harmed

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's visit to Saudi Arabia is an important sign of the "depth and strength of the historical relations between the two countries and the two people", the state-owned Egyptian daily Al Ahram said in an editorial.

The newspaper said the visit is a refutation of "all rumours that tried to contaminate those relations" after the January 25 revolution.

The visit, the paper added, sends three clear and unequivocal messages:

First, the ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are not only historic and powerful, but they amount to being a special relationship, thanks to the position and size of each of the two countries and their influence at the Arab, regional and international levels.

Second, it confirms that not only is Egypt's security inextricably tied to that of the Gulf region, but that it starts from there. The newspaper said Mr Morsi would certainly discuss with the Saudi king this "thorny issue", in addition to the Iranian role and the president's vision of this role under the regional balances which the Egyptian state has to take into account.

Third, the relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are larger and deeper than "sparse problems of the Egyptian workers" there, despite their significance, or a bunch of Saudi investments in Egypt, regardless of their size.


Arab states should help the new Libya

Today the Arab world, and the Gulf states in particular, should lend the Libyan people a hand to help them reclaim their place, Tariq Al Homayed wrote in the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat.

The Arab states can start by sending high-profile ambassadors to Libya to boost cooperation and hold the door open to Libya's integration in the Arab world.

Libya's weight is in its history, its identity and its people, not the painful history of the era under Muammar Qaddafi. Libya is also important because it is an oil-rich country.

The recent elections delighted the Libyans as well as the fair-minded people of the Arab world. They showed that the majority of Libyans seek to build a civil state and avert religious polarities.

As things stand now, Libya is a different country. The victory of the National Forces Alliance has prevented a Brotherhood triangle in Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya).

So Libya should be given a hand - not through interference in its internal political, economic or media affairs, but through reaching out and respecting its role.

Libyans have taken matters into their own hands, and decided on a civil state, but not an "adventurous" one like Qaddafi's. This alone should be worthy of acclaim and celebration.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk