Editorials in Arab news address the AU roadmap for Libya and the GCC

Editorials in Arab newspapers address the issues of Mubarak's finances, a Gaza no fly zone

Powered by automated translation

Mubarak has 'no good name to defend'

The ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak broke his silence on Sunday in a voice recording broadcast by the Al Arabiya satellite channel, basically saying that he has been a victim of a defamation campaign, wrote Abdelbari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab Al Quds al Arabi newspaper.

"Well, the former Egyptian president does not have a good reputation for it to be tarnished or integrity to be impugned. What he did was turn Egypt into a big farm for himself, his children and his corrupt entourage."

When Mr Mubarak said in the voice recording that neither he nor his wife owned assets outside Egypt, he was just "fooling nobody but himself".

"We have no reason to believe that the official statements from the British, French and US governments announcing the freeze of Mr Mubarak's and his family's accounts were bogus, or were intended to tarnish his reputation. Plus, take a closer look at the language used by the ousted president and you'll see that he himself does not deny the existence of massive overseas wealth in the name of his two sons."

Plus, the former Egyptian president made other misleading declarations. He said, for instance, that he "gave up the presidency". The truth is that he clung to power for as long as he could, and was made to leave. He didn't benignly renounce the presidency.

The Arab League Gaza decision 'needs teeth'

The Arab League is doing the right thing by resorting to the UN Security Council and demanding that a no-fly zone be imposed over the Gaza Strip to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli transgressions, the Emirati newspaper Al Khaleej stated in its editorial.

But the question remains: will this endeavour ever come to fruition in the face of an always-ready United States veto?

"The Arab states' ability to bring the international community to take responsibility for the Palestinian people is being seriously tested here."

On the other hand, the US itself is taking the test on its ability to stand by Israel, cover for it politically and support it militarily. Once again, Washington has to make a choice between its bully ally and international legitimacy.

It remains to be seen whether the US will break with its absolute support of Israel and, just for once, show some respect for the Palestinian people's right to live like all other people, in accordance with the same human values that US has long been trumpeting.

"Going to the Security Council to enforce a no-fly zone over the Gaza Strip must be bolstered by a genuine pan-Arab determination to turn the demand into reality, not just pitch it in a bid to avert criticism. This demand will need some teeth and a B-plan in case it is shot down."

The AU roadmap for Libya lacks conviction

Those awaiting a political solution for Libya's plight clearly don't know what are the boundaries for marketing the negotiations between the rebels and the regime, observed the Emirati Al Bayan daily in its editorial.

The African Union mediation committee that convened with Col Qaddafi and the Libyan opposition proposed a roadmap that suggests going into a transitional phase by adopting political reforms and a ceasefire. It called for "comprehensive management of a transitional phase in order to implement necessary political reforms to eliminate the causes of the current crisis".

Despite the ongoing efforts that the coming days will witness, events are going into a completely different direction. Confrontations are escalating and it is clear that the warring factions on Libyan soil are preparing for a new period of violence that doesn't make room for any negotiations.

"Talk about Qaddafi's regime remaining in power under the new AU road mapdooms the negotiations to failure because it doesn't relate to the reality that the recent events imposed."

Agreeing to a solution that keeps Col Qaddafi or one of his sons in power is highly unlikely. Although everyone wants stability for Libya, all the efforts depend on what can be realistically implemented in a way that satisfies the people's demands.

The GCC moves from neutrality to action

The US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq made it possible for Iran to manoeuvre more freely, observed Rajeh al Khouri, a columnist with the Lebanese Annahar daily.

With the Taliban regime out of the way, followed by Saddam Hussein's, Tehran stepped forward into Iraq and made breakthroughs that led it to the shores of the Mediterranean through Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Thus, Iran imposed itself as a central power to be reckoned with, especially that it's on its way to becoming a nuclear power.

Throughout the past decade, the Gulf Cooperation Council, which was established in the first place to protect the Gulf region against post-revolutionary Iran, has been maintaining positive neutrality. However, in view of the escalating Iranian offences across the Gulf region in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and most recently in Bahrain, the GCC finds itself compelled to remove the cloak of diplomacy and start a movement aimed at putting an end to Iran's interference in the internal affairs of Gulf states.

The sending of the Peninsula Shield forces to Bahrain and the systematic challenge of Iranian positions proves that the GCC has moved from its role as a neutral spectator into a more active role as a protector and defender.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk