Arab dailies are focusing Tuesday on the preliminary negotiations of Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Morsi. On Monday, Morsi met his former arch-enemy, field marshal Hussein Tantawi of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
“It seems like the distance between President-elect Mohammed Morsi and the military council is narrowing,” reads London-based daily Al-Hayat in an article titled “Morsi moves to the presidential palace and efforts to solve the pledge of allegiance bind.” The photo in Al-Hayat portrays a distinguished looking Morsi being guided through the presidential palace by soldiers and suited civilians.
In Saudi-owned A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Morsi is displayed sitting on a gilded sofa next to Tantawi. The daily warns of a new looming crisis; who will Tantawi take his oath before? the parliament has been disassembled and taking the oath before the high court would mean recognizing the legitimacy of the military’s constitutional amendments.
The daily’s antipathy towards Morsi is evident in a second article Monday that highlights “worrying words” in Morsi’s victory speech such as “obedience” and “guardianship.”
“This worries some, who fear the Brotherhood President will institute a religious state in the country,” reads the daily.
‘It seems like the distance between President-elect Mohammed Morsi and the military council is narrowing,’ reads London-based daily Al-Hayat.
London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi questions Morsi’s decision to meet Tantawi and his deputy, Chief of Staff Sami Anan, at the Defense Ministry rather than the presidential palace which he had visited just before. The move, claims the daily, makes the president seem subordinate to the army.
Editor-in-chief Abd Al-Bari Atwan notes the delayed congratulatory phone call from the US and Saudi Arabia, and its absence from Israel. He says the tepid reaction of the “Israeli-American-Saudi triangle” is indicative of the future of the Middle East.
“The Israelis are doubtless the most concerned, because their cold peace with the largest Arab state – which gave them 34 years of security and stability – is about to become not only frosty, but a cold war that can gradually heat up,” writes Atwan.
A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Abd Al-Rahman Rashed admits that Morsi won the elections fair and square, an accomplishment that cannot be understated.
“Concern regarding the Muslim Brotherhood taking control of the largest Arab state is normal, even if it is not stated explicitly” adds Rashed. “But this concern must not prevent us from treating the new situation realistically. Who knows? the parliamentary and presidential victory of the Brotherhood may be positive.”
Looming massacre in Homs?
Al-Hayat reports that 100 tanks are being amassed near Homs in what the Free Syrian Army is calling “preparation for the largest massacre in history.” Aerial and artillery shelling continues all while in cities across Syria.
A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports that Turkey has declared the downing of its fighter jet by Syria a “hostile act” and has reported Syrian fire directed at a second aircraft. The daily features a photo of Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul meeting the uniformed commander of the Turkish air force in an Istanbul office with a large Turkish flag in the background.
‘There are those who blame Turkey of incompetence, while others say that Ankara talks more than it does,’ Homayed eggs Turkey on.
Syria, for its part, is claiming that the aircraft entered its airspace while Turkey is threatening to cut off Syria’s supply of electricity, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports.
Itching for some action on the Turkish-Syrian front, A-Sharq Al-Awsat editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed writes an editorial Tuesday titled “How will the Turks respond to Assad?”
“There are those who blame Turkey of incompetence, while others say that Ankara talks more than it does,” Homayed eggs Turkey on. “Erdogan did say on more than one occasion that patience has its limits.”
An Al-Quds Al-Arabi editorial gives the Turks a bit more credit in their restraint so far.
“We do not know if the Turkish restraint is well thought out, in order to avoid being dragged into the Syrian trap of escalation and involvement in a war which it considers untimely, or whether it hides a military option about to take place, the timing and place of which will be defined by NATO.”
Jordanian Brotherhood to boycott parliamentary elections
Jordan’s most significant opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is about to decide this week to boycott Jordan’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Qatar-based news channel Al-Jazeera reports.
The Jordanian Islamists are blaming the government for reneging on promises for a liberal elections law, recently ratified by parliament.
According to independent Jordanian daily Al-Arab Al-Youm, 3 million Jordanians are eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of this year.