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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Egypt's Morsy trying to dictate terms of US-Arab relations

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy has given an interview to the New York Times in which he effectively tries to dictate the terms of US-Arab relations.
He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
And he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.
“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger. 


He praised Mr. Obama for moving “decisively and quickly” to support the Arab Spring revolutions, and he said he believed that Americans supported “the right of the people of the region to enjoy the same freedoms that Americans have.”
Arabs and Americans have “a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion,” he said, adding that he hoped for “a harmonious, peaceful coexistence.”
But he also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.
“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.
Morsy is mischaracterizing the Camp David Accords. 
The first agreement had three parts. The first part or preamble was a framework for negotiations to establish an autonomous self-governing authority in the West Bank and the Gaza strip and to fully implement SC 242. The Accords recognized the "legitimate rights of the Palestinian people", a process was to be implemented guaranteeing the full autonomy of the people within a period of five years. Begin insisted on the adjective "full" to confirm that it was the maximum political right attainable. This full autonomy was to be discussed with the participation of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians. The withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza was agreed to occur after an election of a self-governing authority to replace Israel's military government.[1] The Accords did not mention the Golan Heights, Syria, or Lebanon. This was not the comprehensive peace that Kissinger, Ford, Carter, or Sadat had in mind during the previous American presidential transition.[16] It was less clear than the agreements concerning the Sinai, and was later interpreted differently by Israel, Egypt, and the United States. The fate of Jerusalem was deliberately excluded from this agreement.[17]
 Note that there is nothing in the accords that mandates 'justice' for the 'Palestinians,' a phrase that the 'Palestinians' generally associate with a return to the 1949 armistice lines and the return of 'refugees' and their descendants to their purported ancestral homes.

Moreover, Begin was clear that he was not agreeing to anything more than 'full autonomy.' It is almost beyond argument that Israel granted full autonomy to the 'Palestinians' when it entered into the Oslo Accords and allowed the 'Palestinian Authority' to be established.

Although it was first thought that he would, President Obama will not be meeting with Egyptian President Morsy at the White House due to possible "complicated election-year politics of a visit with Egypt’s Islamist leader." Donald Douglas adds:
Well, yeah. Bowing, in the White House, before the leader of the Arab terrorist world might not have gone over too well with the American public. That's something that even the Obama-enabling media wouldn't be able to conceal.
And JPost reports on yet another Morsy interview that will not please the American electorate.
In another interview Saturday with Egyptian state television, Morsy discussed Syria, asserting that having a strong relationship with Iran is important for Egypt at this time to be able to work out a way to end the bloodshed in Syria.
Morsy described Iran as "a main player in the region that could have an active and supportive role in solving the Syrian problem."
Morsy, in a move to revive Egypt's role in the region, asked last month for Iran to join a quartet committee he called for which includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Egypt to try to find a solution to the violence in Syria.
Iran is the only state in the quartet that is an ally to Syrian President Bashar Assad and has accused Saudi Arabia and Turkey of helping the rebels who are fighting to topple him. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all demanded that Assad step down. Iran was attacked at the UN Security Council last week for its continuous backing of the Syrian regime.
"I don't see the presence of Iran in this quartet as a problem, but is a part of solving the (Syrian) problem," Morsy said, explaining that Iran's close proximity to Syria and its strong ties with it makes it "vital" in resolving the Syrian crisis.
Morsy's comments came after Saudi Arabia stayed away from the quartet's last meeting, which Cairo hosted on Sept. 17. Saudi Arabia's decision was seen by diplomats and western officials as a reaction to the presence of Shi'ite Muslim Iran, the major rival of Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
It will not be easy for the next US President to reassert America's authority in the Middle East. And if God forbid we get four more years of Obama, there may not be any authority left to reassert.

What could go wrong?

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At 11:27 AM, Blogger YMedad said...

In his interview ("Egypt’s New Leader Spells Out Terms for U.S.-Arab Ties", Sept. 22), Egypt's Mohamed Morsi insists that "Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule". However, it should be recalled that on November 1993, it was the Palestine Liberation Organization's chief negotiator, Nabil Shaath, who announced an indefinite suspension of the autonomy talks with Israel. Arab declarations of break-offs of the talks, either by Egypt's Anwer Sadat or the PLO's Yassir Arafat, were a recurring theme in 1980 and again in 1982. If there is to be any progress on autonomy, which is the Camp David framework for self-rule for the Arab residents of the territories administered by Israel, it behooves the Arab side to re-engage. And since even Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 10-month construction moratorium elicited neglible responses, the Arab side continues to doom themselves to useless misplaced incriminations.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Morsi is simply doing what Obama needs him to say before granting him an official state visit to the White House.


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