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Egypt, Turkey, and Israel

The New York Times has an article up regarding Filed Marshal Mohammad Hussein Tantawi of Egypt, the top military officer who would be the most likely presidential candidate to come out of the military.  Yet he has given statements saying that the military has no intention of running a candidate.  Speculation that Tantawi could run began when he appeared in public in civilian dress rather than his usual military garb.  Tantawi not running is good news for those who are concerned that civil society will struggle to take power back from the military.  I’d add that this article does not dispell the possibility of Tantawi leaving the military and then running for president.  Anyone else’s thoughts on this story?

Elsewhere, Recep Tayyip Erdogan ripped Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, and the lack of international concern for Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons.  Erdogan discussed a double standard, saying

“Here I am talking about 89 resolutions of the UN Security Council and 247 resolutions of the General Assembly, none of which are implemented.”

“On the other hand you have resolutions for example about Iran, the Sudan and Palestine which are implemented.”

Erdogan also reiterated his country’s stance on endorsing international pressure on the Assad regime in Syria.  The article mentions that the Tureky-Israel spat will challenge Secretary of State Clinton when she heads to Istanbul next month.  If she asked for it, what would be your advice for handling worsening relations between two allies?

Finally, this article from Al Arabiya is kind of funny.  I’m not sure if this prize is a big deal or if it is some obscure thing that Al Arabiya picked up on.

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2 Responses

  1. If I were Hilary: I would very much echo Panetta’s comments from earlier this week. On his recent visit to Israel/Palestine he remarked: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44751697/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/#.Tok4s3KyDcQ)
    “The important thing there is to again reaffirm our strong security relationship with Israel, to make clear that we will protect their qualitative military edge… As they take risks for peace, we will be able to provide the security that they will need in order to ensure that they can have the room hopefully to negotiate.”

    However, he qualified that statement with this important remark: “The question you have to ask is – is it enough to maintain a military edge if you are isolating yourself diplomatically?”

    It gives me (a bit of) hope that an American official was willing to call Israel out while still confirming the traditional support of our ally.The times are changing and I have a feeling the Obama administration is hoping that Israel realizes it sooner rather than later, saving them from having to put too much pressure on Netanyahu but still leading to some sort of resolution.

  2. Kara, I get what you’re saying. I guess for me it is just that when I contemplate the purpose of the US alliance with Israel, I feel like at this point in time Turkey is the ally more likely to be able to provide what the US needs out of an ally in the Middle East, specifically a capacity to influence the region.

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