January 11 to 15, 2010

–  The El Baradei effect on Egyptian Politics (13/1/2010) – Al Masry Al Youm

Mohamed El Baradei’s statement, on December 6 about the conditions of his candidacy to the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt has not only shaken the government but has also recalled the difficulties encountered by the opposition in recent years. The former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the subject of a campaign to discredit equal to the one which the opposition leader Ayman Nour has suffered in the past. The author of the article, the political analyst Issandr Amrani said that ElBaradei’s statement may affect the current regime, for instance by attracting media attention on the forthcoming parliamentary elections expected this year and the presidential elections to be held next year.

– Israel-Turkey: the reasons for the diplomatic crisis (« Israël-Turquie : les raisons de la crise diplomatique ») (12/1/2010) – Rene Backmann’s blog (Nouvel Observateur)

The Turkish-Israeli relations had already undergone a turnaround in 2009 due to the reactions of Prime Minister Erdogan to Israel attack on the Gaza Strip, the release of a controversial soap opera on the situation in the Palestinian territories and finally the exclusion of Israel from joint military exercises with Turkey. At the beginning of this year a diplomatic incident was added to this because of the humiliation suffered by the Turkish ambassador in Israel during a visit to Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon. According to Rene Backmann, these recurring crises are partly due to the rivalry between the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, and Minister of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

–  Who is Ahmad Masa’deh? (« Qui est Ahmad Masa’deh ? « ) (7/1/2010) and UPM: Masa’deh officially designated (« Masa’deh officiellement désignée ») (13/1/2010) – Jeune Afrique

On January 12, representatives of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean have officially named the Jordanian Ahmad Masa’deh, former Ambassador of Jordan to the EU and Belgium, as Secretary General of the UPM . The lawyer, close to the Arab cause and who received an excellent education, seems a good candidate to deactivate the Middle East tense debates and to revive the Union for the Mediterranean.

–  The crisis is shaking the giant towers projects (« La crise fait vaciller les projets de tours géantes ») ( 5/1/2010) – Le Monde

Isabelle Rey-Lefebvre and Marc Roche from Le Monde take the opportunity of the opening of the gigantic – more than 800 meters – Burj Dubai (since renamed Burj Khalifa) to come back on the progress of the construction of skyscrapers in the world. The Middle East and Asia are leading the dance, but the crisis is nonetheless an obstacle to the frenzy of such projects. Europe has the most modest palmares with a future record of 310 meters with « The Shard » in project in London for the Olympics in 2012. The weakness of the British Pound Sterling and the low interest rates also attract many investors from the Middle East and Asia in the United Kingdom’s capital. The journalists also point out the many tower projects abandoned in the area of La Defense in Paris, which damage the bvenefits of the “Etablissement Public de la Defense” (EPAD).