As violence continues to rage in Syria, the political standoff in Kuwait between government and opposition reaches an all-time high.
In an interview with the London-based daily Al-Hayat on Tuesday, international envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi warns of the “Somalization” (becoming like Somalia, which experiences endemic instability) of Syria if a political process is not launched there soon.
“I don’t want to go far with my pessimism but the situation in Syria is very dangerous,” Brahimi told Al-Hayat. “The Syrian people are suffering greatly. People are talking about the danger of [Syria’s] division. I don’t predict division. I believe that if the matter is not properly dealt with, the danger is Somalization and not division, meaning the collapse of the state and the emergence of warlords and armed gangs and militias.”
According to the Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Brahimi is referring back to the Geneva agreement reached on June 30, which outlines regime change in Syria based on a transitional government. No direct reference is made to Assad in the plan. Brahimi believes the declaration made in Geneva should be translated into a UN Security Council decision, the daily reports.
‘I don’t want to go far with my pessimism, but the situation in Syria is very dangerous’
Meanwhile, on the ground, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports 70 casualties in an aerial strike on the northern city of Idlib and car bombs exploding in the Al-Mazza neighborhood of Damascus and in Hama.
Abdul Rahman Rashed, a columnist for A-Sharq Al-Awsat, claims that the Syrian opposition’s declaration Monday of five battle fronts with the Syrian army has effectively removed the need for foreign intervention in Syria and lifted a heavy load from neighboring Turkey.
“Transferring the management of the battles into [Syria’s] interior means that the revolution has reached its moment of truth: it will either be victorious or mark the end of the Syrian people’s dream.”
Kuwaiti leader weights in on his country’s unrest
Kuwait’s leader Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah commented Monday on the political unrest in his country, and is widely quoted by Arab press on Tuesday.
“Kuwaiti emir: There is no going back on the constitutional amendments and there is no alternative to brotherly dialogue,” reads the headline in A-Sharq Al-Awsat.
London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, always more alarmist and sensationalist, leads its front page with Al-Sabah’s threat “not to allow displays of anarchy or deviation.” According to the daily, the Kuwaiti leader hinted that he may resort to requesting the assistance of the Peninsula Shield Force, an army managed by the Gulf Cooperation Council to crush the protest movement.
According to the daily, the Kuwaiti leader hinted that he may resort to requesting the assistance of the Peninsula Shield Force, an army managed by the Gulf Cooperation Council, to crush the protest movement
Scores of Kuwaitis took to the streets this week to protest amendments to the election law, claiming the “one man one vote” system will make Kuwait’s parliament less representative.
Meanwhile, Jordanian information minister Samih Maaytah claimed Tuesday that his country has no military forces in Kuwait. Maaytah was denying statements by two Kuwaiti opposition members of parliament who said that Jordanian soldiers were sent to Kuwait to suppress the civil uprising there.
Maaytah said that regional powers were interested in implicating Jordan in certain issues, a reference to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, in whose television channel Al-Manar the anti-Jordanian claims were made.
Egypt’s new pope on Islamists and Jerusalem
Egypt’s newly elected Coptic pope Tawadros II, who is to take office November 18, told Egyptian media that the church has no problem with Islamists in power in Egypt.
Tawadros said that the Coptic church is proud of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.
Tawadros said that the Coptic church is proud of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi
He also told Egyptian media that he would maintain the policy of his predecessor Pope Shenouda preventing believers from visiting “occupied Jerusalem.” He said that Christians and Muslims will visit Jerusalem together “following its liberation.”
Referring to Egypt’s new draft constitution, Tawadros said that he did not read the draft but added that Copts only demand “true citizenship,” noting that they are currently discriminated against.