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August 17, 2009
Egyptian leader in U.S. as discontent simmers at home

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is in Washington for high-level talks with Obama administration officials. America has a lot riding on Mubarak. The United States gives some $2 billion a year to Egypt, which remains one of its most reliable Arab allies.

But Egypt’s future is murky. Mubarak is now 81 years old and, by some accounts, is in failing health — and no successor has been named.

Salameh Nematt, a columnist at The Daily Beast, joins Martin Savidge to discuss U.S.-Egyptian relations and issues that are likely to be on the agenda when Mubarak meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

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1 comment

#1

Salameh Nematt was off center on two counts:
Firstly, Pres. Mubarak has taken a much harder line towards Israel since Pres. Obama’s Cairo speech. He refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, or contemplate any real moves towards normalization.

Secondly, the chief difference between Hamas and Fatah is over strategy, rather than end goal. They both refuse to accept Israel as a permanent state. And of course, they are factions competing for power. At the recent Fatah conference, Mahmoud Abbas
(i) said he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state;
(ii) set up a commission with the ridiculous task of “investigating how Israel murdered Yasser Arafat”(!);
(iii) demanded that refugees be resettled in pre-1967 Israel, not the West Bank. This denies the rights of the similar number of JEWISH REFUGEES FROM ARAB LANDS. It sidesteps Arab responsibility for starting the wars that led to both refugee issues.

By contrast, even “hardliners” in the Israeli cabinet are sheer doves.

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