1:34 PM, Mar 4, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Sunday the release of a quarter of a billion dollars in aid to Egypt. The Associated Press reports:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for President Mohammed Morsi's pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250 million in American aid to support the country's "future as a democracy."
Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt's first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional U.S. assistance would depend on it.
The day before, the secretary of state hinted that the Obama administration was continuing to throw its weight behind Morsi in remarks at the Marriott Zamalek Hotel in Cairo. Kerry had meet with some opposition leaders on Saturday and a reporter apparently caught Kerry at his hotel after the meeting. There is a partial transcript of a reporter's impromptu question and Kerry's answer on the State Department's website [emphasis added]:
QUESTION: (In progress) heard his conversation with the opposition members. Did you hear anything from them that would suggest that they’re going to renounce their boycott of the election and actually take part?
SECRETARY KERRY: No, I heard very passionate people who are deeply committed to Egypt and to their version of the democracy that they fought for in their revolution. And I completely understand that. I wanted to hear from them. I explored their strategy and thoughts.
They’re deeply committed to human rights, to democracy, to freedom of expression, and to a real political process in which they feel they have a voice. America supports all of those things. And so listening to them was really important. There was a divergence of views in terms of the adamancy, but they all shared a sense that they needed to be more part of the process, more included, and they recognized the economic challenge, but they believe there’s also a need to fill the promise of democracy. And so do we. We believe that too.
There's no explanation of what Kerry meant by the remark.
12:11 PM, Feb 12, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Fox News reported yesterday that Chuck Hagel, who has been nominated as the next secretary of defense, failed to “disclose at least two recent speeches on the subject of the Arab-Israeli conflict” in paperwork filed with the Senate.
2:54 PM, Nov 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Smith, told the Arabic news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat that American foreign policy will now change after President Barack Obama's reelection. Smith made the comments at an election night party at his residence.
5:30 PM, Jul 31, 2012 • By NOAH POLLAK
The press is having fun today amplifying the complaint of Palestinian "negotiator" Saeb Ereikat that comments Mitt Romney made in Jerusalem yesterday are "racist." What was Romney's offense? In the course of expressing amazement at Israel's economic miracle, he merely pointed out that cultural differences lead to differences in economic performance.
8:05 AM, Jun 22, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The death last week of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Nayef Bin Abd Al-Aziz, aged 78 and heir to his half-brother, King Abdullah Bin Abd Al-Aziz, was not immediately foreseen by the Saudi public.
10:22 PM, Jun 16, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Saudi Arabian crown prince Nayef Bin Abd Al-Aziz, designated heir to King Abdullah Bin Abd Al-Aziz, died Saturday in Geneva, where he was receiving medical treatment. Nayef, 78, headed the country’s ministry of interior and was deputy premier in the royal cabinet. He was named crown prince last year.
2:33 PM, May 21, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz last December called for promoting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the Saudi kingdom, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman, into a unified body, which has been described as a “super-state.” The Saudis and the other GCC members are currently engaged in discussions intended to bring closer coordination, if not fusion, within the council.
1:33 PM, Apr 23, 2012 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The situation of the Palestinian Authority is grim. Its diplomatic offensive against Israel in the United Nations did not win it statehood, there are no serious negotiations with Israel because the PA refuses them, Hamas controls Gaza, and Palestinian elections keep getting postponed despite the “Arab Spring” and the wave of elections in Arab countries. Internally, relations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad were recently so poor that for several days Abbas apparently refused even to speak to Fayyad.
5:31 PM, Oct 4, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
Ladbrokes of London, the famous British bookmaker, lists the Syrian-born poet Adonis as a 4 to 1 favorite to win this year’s Nobel Prize, due to be announced in the next few days. According to one Ladbrokes official, “I really think this is poetry’s year, and without a doubt, the politically correct choice would be Adonis.”
States can and will support al Qaeda, unless they continue to fear an American response.3:21 PM, Sep 7, 2011 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
Has the United States been successful in its war against terrorism? Yes, without a doubt. Although Islamic militancy remains a potent force, especially in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, Washington’s relentless pursuit of armed jihadists has severely damaged the capacity of Sunni radical groups to strike the United States, at home and abroad.
1:18 PM, Aug 24, 2011 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
The apparent fall of the Qaddafi regime, and the likely capture (or killing) of the tyrant himself, will signal the end not only of four decades of internal repression and external terrorism, but one of the more vexing orthographic challenges in modern American journalism: the spelling of the colonel's surname.
5:01 PM, Jul 15, 2011 • By SAMUEL TADROS
Consider these two quotations, both of which are provided by members of the Egyptian intelligentsia: “The Holocaust is a lie,” and “The victory of the Zionist ideal is also the victory of my ideal.”
3:42 PM, Jun 17, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
Bashar al-Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf, or the man even the New York Times is calling Syria's "Mr. Five Percent," has decided to give back to the community, somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars. The regime in Damascus may hope to impress Washington, which has sanctioned Makhlouf, but it's not to keep the opposition at bay. Among Makhlouf's other holdings, there's his so-called "independent" TV station, Al Dunya, which of late the regime has used to insult Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, the media holdings of Arab rivals Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Arabs against themselves.Jun 20, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 38 • By LEE SMITH
Half a year after the fall of Tunisia’s Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, it’s time for a partial reckoning of the Arab Spring. Verdict: Uncertain.