March 15 to 19, 2010

– Egypt worried about Moubarak’s absence (L’Egypte s’inquiète de l’absence de Moubarak), (16/03/2010), L’Express

After a surgery in Germany, President Mubarak’s absence has greatly concerned Egyptians. Despite publication of numerous press releases, a feeling of suspense has invaded the country to the point that Cairo Stock Exchange recorded a significant decline. The Head of State’s health is one of the most sensitive topics in Egypt. Moreover, his disappearance, described as unusual, from the public scene has raised many political questions. However, at the same time, as if he wanted to reassure his country and put an end to rumors, Mubarak appeared on television,(and) the Egyptians are relieved, RFI (on 16/03/2010).

– Saudi Arabia: 4,756 Human Rights Cases in One Year, 16/03/2010, Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi Arabia Human Rights Commission  make public an inventory of complaints received in 2009, whose total number is 4 756. The population most affected is women who are victims of domestic violence. And it is important for the Saudi Arabia Human Rights Commission and the country to increase public awareness about this issue.

Algeria calls for united gas supply action, 16/03/2010, The Financial Times

Algeria is a main gas supplier of Europe. Facing an oversupply, the Energy Minister of Algeria called Russia and Qatar to implement a policy of reducing production of natural gas. This will have an impact on gas market and boost prices, which is the objective sought by Algeria. However, this strategy requires coordination between these three states, which currently are not all ready to create a cartel.

– The Algerian government sinks into the ridiculous (Le pouvoir algérien sombre dans le ridicule), 17/03/2010, Aujourd’hui le Maroc

Between Morocco and Algeria, improvement of relations does not seem to be on the agenda, at the contrary. The kingdom is pretty upset by the non-invitation of his neighbor to the regional conference on cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel-Saharan region. While Chad, Libya, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Mali were present in Algiers, Morocco deplores Algeria’s attitude to address a regional issue without including his closed neighbor. Without official explanation, this situation illustrates the lack of commitment and seriousness on of Algerian state to address a regional issue without inviting all the regional players.

– Legislative elections in Iraq :

Two reports clarify Iraq elections.  Iraq, the day after , France 24, 12/03/2010 (available only in French), demonstrates the involvement of the Iraqi people who voted beyond the threat of attack.

The New York Times report, Iraq Elections: Sadr and His Rivals, informs us about the election results and their impact on the Shiite coalition.