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Arab leaders arrive at summit, alarmed by Tunisia

Hisham Kassem, an Egyptian newspaper publisher and longtime human rights advocate, said of the Arab leaders, “They are definitely scared, but it’s typical how they always try to use these summits in order to secure their regimes as opposed to develop their countries.” Mr. Kassem added, “It is definitely a wake-up call, and they’re definitely terrified and they’re finally grasping.”

That quote comes from this New York Times article about the ongoing Arab League Summit.  Arab states are meeting to discuss what led to revolt in Tunisia, and how to prevent the  Tunisian actions from appealing to denizens of other states.  It is hard to sum up the article properly, and the article is filled with great quotes, but I’ll try to give the big picture: regimes in these states generally maintain control in one of two ways: be oppressive or buy your people off with oil wealth.  There appears to now be a crisis of confidence, spurred on by Tunisia and Hillary Clinton’s speech last week, where the Arab leaders are wondering if they are doing enough.

 

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