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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Abdullah and Mubarak won't attend conference

DEBKA is reporting this evening that 'our friends the Saudis' King Abdullah and 'our friends the Egyptians' President Hosni Mubarak won't be attending the 'conference' that President Bush proposed at the beginning of this week. The reason is that they won't go along with Bush's rejection of Hamas.
Neither goes along with Bush’s boycott of Hamas. Washington’s total rejection of the Islamist terrorists who seized the Gaza Strip was highlighted in his speech. That morning, Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman arrived in Washington to try and persuade White House advisers to rewrite some changes into the speech. No chance, he was told.

Middle East sources note that the Bush Middle East statement had the effect of accentuating the gaps dividing the very Arab rulers most needed to back peacemaking. Three opposing camps emerged more clearly than ever:

One. The US, Israel and Jordan, who are convinced that an uncompromising boycott of Hamas will bring down its Gaza government and restore the rule of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah.

Two. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and most of the Gulf emirates object to this boycott and advocate power-sharing between Hamas and Fatah because they are convinced the latter will never recoup its military strength either in Gaza or the West Bank.

Three. Iran and Co. - Syria, Yemen and Hizballah, whose solid backing for the Palestinian Islamists is expressed in cash, arms, advisers and combat training.

By concretizing these gaps, the Bush speech has motivated the three camps to prove its path is the correct one. Therefore, Camp One while backing Abbas all the way will find it harder than ever before to isolate Hamas. So long as the extremist rulers of Gaza benefit from the support of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Syria, the massive US-Israeli cornucopia of cash, benefits and concessions showered on the Salam Fayyad government in Ramallah will lend Fatah rule not much more than a limited and artificial lease of life.
You will recall that four weeks ago, I blogged a story that claimed that Egypt had backed Hamas in the war in the Gaza Strip. The three-camp division lends credence to that story. Egypt is the third-largest recipient of US foreign aid. I guess you guys are really getting your money's worth, eh?


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