October 3 to 7, 2011

–          Is the Impasse in Yemen Leading to “Sudanization”? – Dar Al Hayat-03/10/2011

It does not seem that the balance of power in Yemen has tipped in favor of any particular side. While it is indeed tilting in favor of the regime in the military institution, it is angling in favor of its opponents in the “tribal” institution, and this may explain why the horizon for any peaceful solution remains blocked. There is the Southerners’ and Northerners’ feeling of exclusion vis-à-vis what is happening in Sana’a and the feeling that neither the regional powers  nor the international powers – especially the United States – have so far succeeded in paving the way for the desired change.

–          Why Saudi rulers feel under siege? – BBC- 04/10/2011

Middle East analyst Roger Hardy explains that the Arab Spring has unleashed forces which no-one can control, and from which no Arab state is immune. Saudi Arabia, is under siege and King Abdullah seems conscious of the uncertainty of its own legacy. He wants to leave Saudi Arabia in better shape than when he found it – which explains his promise to Saudi women that they will eventually get the vote. Young Saudis, like young Arabs everywhere, want change. Like their counterparts in Tunis and Cairo, they want jobs and dignity and greater freedom of expression.

–          New trials for Bahreïn doctors (Les médecins bahreïnis auront droit à un nouveau procès) – Le Monde- 05/10/2011

The 20 doctors and medical staff from the Manama hospital condemned to severe prison terms for their support to Shiite demonstrators during the Spring in Bahrein will have a new trial. They have been found guilty for urging to the “regime downfall by violent means” and helping the disputants. The protest movement against the Al-Khalifa Sunni dynasty, started in last February by the Shiites has been violently suppressed.

–          With Rare Double U.N. Veto on Syria, Russia and China Try to Shield Friend– The New York Times– 06/10/2011

A double veto at the United Nations is rare, in this case driven by similar if not exactly parallel concerns in Moscow and Beijing about losing influence in the Arab world. Russia enjoys military and commercial deals with Syria worth billions of dollars annually, plus its alliance and only reliable Arab friend gives it an entree into the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. China worries that the reverberations from falling Arab despots will inspire civil disobedience at home.

–          Egypt’s ruling generals accused of buying time to stay in power– The Guardian- 06/10/2011

Egypt’s ruling military generals have unveiled plans that could see them retain power for another 18 months, increasing fears that the country’s democratic transition process is under threat. There are speculations that the army could be buying time in an attempt to shoehorn one of their own senior commanders into the presidency.

–          Abbas calls Europe to support the « Palestinian Spring » (Abbas appelle l’Europe à soutenir «le printemps palestinien»)  – El Watan– 07/10/2010

« You supported the Arab Spring that seeked for democracy and freedm. Now, the time of the Palestinian Spring has come, asking for freedom and the end of occupation »said M.Abbas during the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. A recommendation at the Unesco was approved for the Palestine to become a full member despite the US opposition, which is a significant diplomatic victory.

–          Messy politics, perky economics– The Economist- 08/10/2011

Libya’s new order is without well-known rulers. This could result in a political vacuum and hinder Libya’s economic recovery. Foreign investors are circling but do not yet know with whom they can sign contracts. There is a real need for a government. Politics may be messy but the economy is starting to bounce back. Oil production, is reviving faster than expected.