Al Jazeera is reporting on a conference of Western Leaders discussing the upcoming political transition in Egypt. The main debate seems to be over whether or not elections should occur sooner rather than later. The United States representative is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is pushing for elections to occur much earlier than the scheduled date in the fall. British PM David Cameron supports this view. Arguing on the side of allowing some time to pass before attempting an election are German chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. Clinton has also stressed the need for other Middle Eastern leaders to make meaningful democratic reforms.
Six former Guantanimo detainees brought legal action against the British government, and today they reached a settlement of over $1.6 million. Al Jazeera has the story.
“The prime minister set out clearly in his statement to the House (of Commons) on July 6 that we need to deal with the totally unsatisfactory situation where for ‘the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries,” the Cabinet Office said.
I believe that the United States is one of those other countries the cabinet official is referring to.
Al Jazeera reports that Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul expects to host talks on the Iran nuclear issue between Iran and China, Russia, France, Britain, the US, and Germany. For the record, Turkey believes Iran’s nuclear program is only being used to manufacture power, not weapons.
Israel is concerned over a British law that might allow visiting Israeli leaders to be arrested for alleged war crimes in the 2009 Gaza offensive. Britain is concerned with the slowness of peace talks, as well as apparently having its lead diplomat stood up on meetings for joint defense. BBC News has all of the details.
As Qatar is my second favorite state in the Middle East after Libya, I have to post this article from the BBC. The take away is essentially this: Qatar is incredibly rich in resources and wants to be liked by the West. Britain is part of the West, and is willing to like Qatar in exchange for more access to those resources. A match made in Windsor.