x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Will Hizbollah keep on stalling and denying?

After the Special Tribunal's indictment, Lebanon is waiting to see if Hizbollah can and will continue to deny everything and refuse cooperation, says one of the Arabic opinion writers excerpted today. Other topics: Iraq's disunity, the UAE's global strategy and Morocco's first step

Will Hizbollah continue with stalling tactics?

No one would have expected Hizbollah to respond differently: it flatly rejected the decision of the Special Court for Lebanon to indict four people close to the party, observed Hassan Haidar in an opinion piece for the London-based newspaper Al Hayat.

Hassan Nasrallah cast doubt on the investigation into the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, accusing the UN team of being agents for the US and Israel.

Hizbollah has successively attempted to divert attention each time any evidence emerges that could implicate some of his members. Some accused it of instigating the war with Israel in 2006 in order to impede the course of investigation by creating a new reality in Lebanon and the region.

In spite of a series of tactics undertaken by the party - in co-ordination with Syria - to misinform the investigating team through false witnesses, investigators remained committed to professional principles throughout the inquiry process.

Now that the indictment has been issued, will Hizbollah continue to ignore the court decision by claiming that it is part of a conspiracy that targets the resistance?

The future will bring a confrontation between the party and the international community, in addition to its opponents inside Lebanon.


Iraq needs more unity before US withdrawal

The situation in Iraq has become more ambiguous in the run-up to the withdrawal of US troops, eight years after the invasion, noted the UAE newspaper Al Bayan in its editorial.

"The discrepancy in the Iraqi arena, resulting from the tense relations between various political forces since the last elections … has caused Iraqis to suffer dearly."

It has also driven the country to the brink of a serious crisis, with many calling for extending the mandate of the US troops under the pretext of maintaining security. It is argued that stability during the occupation, even with the full presence of foreign forces, has never been fully satisfactory. Sceptics ask what will happen with fewer troops.

Any eventual foreign military withdrawal is supposed to be preceded by genuine efforts to end sedition. But what happened was the opposite. Many political forces emerged with claims that will only further aggravate the situation in the country.

Iraq direly needs a government that enjoys a wide consensus among all Iraqis, a government that seeks to lay down the foundation for a new Iraq able to unify all of its constituents.

This can be possible only through a unity government that has to focus on solving internal problems and ensuring security in preparation for the withdrawal of foreign troops.


The UAE's strategy for a global role

"Can a country small in size, limited in its potential and with a relatively weak economy in terms of production base, have a visible presence in the international economic arena and be an important player in the economic decision-making worldwide?" That's what Najib al Shamsi asked in a business section commentary in the UAE newspaper Emrat al Youm.

Yes it is possible, he answered. Achieving this depends largely on the ability of the economic leadership to grasp world economic factors and seize available market opportunities.

Most importantly, economic leaders should be able to understand the evolution of international markets, and have a strategic vision with clear objectives.

The UAE is an emerging economy that rightly seeks to have a strong international presence by signing a number of agreements and being involved in many strategic talks with other countries and organisations, on the basis of long-term mutual strategic interests.

These agreements should be comprehensive and include, besides economic development, politics, security, and culture.

To ensure success in such large-scale dialogues, advance knowledge of every party's assets is essential. Agreements should be coupled with well-fledged protocols of implementation with definite timelines.

Morocco reflects the success of a king

By endorsing the proposed constitutional amendments, Moroccans made it obvious that they are satisfied, for now, with the powers transferred by their monarch to the executive and legislative institutions, observed Mazen Hammad in an opinion piece for the Qatari daily Al Watan.

Although the king maintains much of his executive, security, judicial and religious power, many defended the change, saying the amendments are enough for now. These people also said it is not necessary to undertake an immediate transition to more limited constitutional monarchy.

Critics of the referendum result maintained that the changes will do little to curb the powers of the king. They added that widespread poverty, illiteracy, and fear of the state security services all played a key role in the outcome of the referendum.

Observers believe, however, that the youth-driven movement has failed to attract great support from Moroccans, unlike movements in Tunisia and Egypt. The large turnout was also a big blow to the credibility of the protests.

It is clear that Morocco has made a great stride on the path of parliamentary monarchy, and there is always a room for more power concessions if the present experience succeeds.




* Digest compiled by Mostapha El Mouloudi