x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Muslim Brotherhood's attitude is irrational

"We are facing today a new farce starring the Muslim Brotherhood against the Arab world," noted Tariq Alhomayed in an opinion piece for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat.

"We are facing today a new farce starring the Muslim Brotherhood against the Arab world," noted Tariq Alhomayed in an opinion piece for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat. "The statements by the group's leader, Mahdi Akif, in which he urged Saudi Arabia to stop fighting the Houthis came to justify, as usual, the Iranian stratagems in the region. Mr Akif said that while Saudi Arabia had every right to defend its territory, the role of the kingdom and its monarch outweighed its present actions. But one can wonder what is more important than defending the kingdom's integrity and sovereignty?"

The Muslim Brotherhood's attitude towards the Houthis' aggression on Saudi Arabia is a continuation of its plan aimed at destabilising Arab countries, paving the way for the rise of extremist groups supported by Iranian arms. Mr Akif should have rather stood by the kingdom's action to protect its security, especially in the Yemeni-Saudi border area where arms and drugs smugglers as well as al  Qa'eda members and the Houthis are active. Instead of condemning the Houthis' attacks, Mr Akif and his co-members  appeared on Iranian TV channels calling for Muslim unity and praising the Iranian supreme leader at a time when he and the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were threatening to conduct subversive acts during this year's Haj.

Satea Noureedine, in an opinion piece for the Lebanese newspaper Al Safeer, wrote that the Lebanese looked at the Syrian's as being behind the agreement reached for the establishment of the new government. They also know which party that has been under pressure by the Syrians to speed up this process lately, ending a crisis that lasted five months. Once again, Syria came to the surface as a traditional partner in forming Lebanese governments, except for the past five years - a period that no Lebanese dares to say was stable and smooth. Syria's influence is seen by some minorities as desirable because it is more beneficial than relying on other allies that adopted a less helpful neutral attitude.

Syria's role in Lebanon is an important part of its national interests. Yet, it is harmful for Syria to consider its interests based on the size of each political party's quota in the new executive team, as has happened over the last three decades. "The birth of the first government led by Saad al Hariri is likely to change the political landscape and the nature of alliances in line with Lebanese and Syrian political traditions. Any development will be, therefore, closely scrutinised now by Israel and at the same time will prompt inquiries into the extent of Iran's influence and other external factors that delayed the government's formation."

"While the US-Israeli joint-military exercises were in full swing, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel to discuss ways to resume negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The timing chosen for her visit could not go unnoticed because it was meant to send a clear message that the US administration would continue to stand with the position of the Israelis," wrote Bassam al Dhaw in an opinion piece for the Qatari newspaper Al Watan.

Mrs Clinton stressed three points: First, the concessions presented by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding settlements were enough and unprecedented. Second, the Palestinian Authority has therefore to accept Mr Netanyahu's offer. Lastly, negotiations should be resumed without conditions. These three commandments contradicted what the US president Barack Obama promoted in his peace plan, which is felt now as an empty gesture to sustain his early days in the White House. Palestinians should understand that what the US peace plan amounts to those three commandments which, unfortunately run against their interests. As such, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other factions need to self-criticise their policies and try to stand as one voice to defend the national rights of all Palestinians.

Historical burdens have been heavy on African countries, which suffered under the yoke of European colonial powers, and they are still under the influence of present day world powers, declared the UAE newspaper Akhbar Al Arabi its editorial.

During the cold war, Africa was a breeding ground for wars by proxies. This situation threw  most countries into an abyss of civil war and tribal disputes, leading to deep poverty. "China has appeared on the scene at the right time, taking advantage of its clean record. The presence of China in Africa came smoothly and gradually. Chinese economists introduce African governments and local businesses to new investment opportunities. They also helped in promoting economic relations through their interactions with local partners." 

China's surge in Africa has been reinforced politically at senior levels by holding two conferences of economic partnerships, the first one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the second in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. By looking at the kind of partnerships China is seeking, one can notice that it aims at winning economic opportunities and not subduing other people with its might or ideology. Simply, it wants new arenas for investment through clear and genuine partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

* Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi melmouloudi@thenational.ae