Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The times they are a'changin'

Bob Dylan turned 70 yesterday and one of his early political songs has gained some new energy and relevance. The people's uprising has put enough pressure on the Egyptian government that they have to stop being a docile puppet of the Israel/USA axis. It's quite a big change for Egypt to broker the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, telling Obama and Netanyahu to buzz off.

Egypt official: Obama misreading unity deal
Published yesterday (updated) 24/05/2011 11:34

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Egypt will counter any external pressure that could endanger the progress of the Palestinian unity process, Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman said Monday after the US president raised concerns.

In his Thursday speech about the "Arab spring," and again during a Sunday speech to an American-Israel lobby group, Obama said the unity agreement between rival Palestinian parties "raised profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?"

Speaking with Ma'an, the ambassador said Egypt "hopes all foreign players try to bolster Egypt’s efforts to secure Palestinian reconciliation, and maintain the ceasefire [agreement] between the Palestinians and Israel." He said the decision of Hamas to formally agree to the ceasefire in place in the West Bank when the party signed on to the unity deal was a major step.

Othman said he considered the reconciliation and ceasefire as the main basis for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and a mainstay for hopes of regional stability.

In his Sunday speech in Washington before the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama urged Hamas to recognize Israel.

"No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel's right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements," he said.

The Egyptian official, however, disagreed with Obama's position, insisting that Cairo "consider[s] the reconciliation agreement as supportive to regional peace."

Othman said Egypt would ensure the success of the unity deal, and secure it as a staple of regional peace.

"Egypt’s role did not end with the signing of agreement in Cairo," he said, adding that the nation was a principal partner present at all meetings and prepared to insist that the deal be made into reality.

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