September 26 to 30, 2011

–          Libyan Islamists must have share in power, warns leader The Guardian– 27/09/2011

Libya’s Islamist groups « will not allow » secular politicians to exclude or marginalize them in the intensifying battle for power in the post-Gaddafi era. « We must resist attempts by some Libyan politicians to exclude some of the participants in the revolution, » said Abdel Hakim Belhaj Belhaj, head of the Tripoli Military Council. The National Transitional Council (NTC) has failed to expand to be more representative, generating a sense of division about the future that western diplomats and many Libyans admit is worrying.

–        In Riddle of Mideast Upheaval, Turkey Offers Itself as an Answer The New York Times–  27/09/2011

Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be the most famous figure in the Middle East by positioning Turkey on the side of the Arab uprising. After its recent tour in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, all eyes are set on Turkey’s foreign policy. In spite of its new consolidated position as a key regional power, the country still needs to overcome its internal challenges regarding its diplomatic capacities.

–           UN Bid Heralds Death of Palestine’s Old Guard Middle East Online–  27/09/2011

The significant victory at the UN for Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority was the loss of credebility of the US as the arbiter of the Middle East peace process. US leadership is now put into question, “We must stop believing that a single country, even the largest, or a small group of countries can resolve so complex a problem” the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his speech to the General Assembly. Abbas’ application also exposes the UN’s powerlessness to intervene in an effective way. Statehood depends on a successful referral to the Security Council, which is dominated by the US.

–           Ashton shows pro-Palestinian side at EU parliament Euobserver– 28/09/2011

EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton showed her pro-Palestinian sympathies at the European Parliament on Tuesday 27 September in Strasbourg by making a statement against Israel’s new decision to build 1,100 Jewish housing units on Palestinian land at its Gilo settlement. Meanwhile, EU countries have voiced clear divisions at the UN in New York over the past week. Ten (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) are on the pro-upgrade side. Five (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and the UK) have indicated they would vote No.

–           Egypt:  elections set at the end of November (Égypte : les élections fixées fin novembre) Jeune Afrique–  28/09/2011

The first Egyptian parliamentary elections, since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, are to be held on November 28th 2011 according to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) decision. The voting for a single candidate is being criticized; it may help the return of political figures close to the former regime. According to a Mena poll, 35% of Egyptians back the Muslim Brotherhood party.

–           Syria slips towards civil war as sanctions bid fails The Independent–  29/09/2011

Fears are mounting that Syria may be on the verge of civil war as hundreds of army deserters were battling Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the first major confrontation against the regime. With an intensification of violence looking increasingly likely, Britain and its EU allies have been forced to drop calls for immediate UN sanctions against Syria but they were scrapped in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition.