Saudi Arabia buries a prince and Egypt plunges into post-election turmoil (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ELHANAN MILLER 06/18/12)
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‘Two pillars of the state are gone, but the regime in Saudi Arabia
stands strong,’ writes one columnist
Despite the dramatic developments in Egypt and Syria, the burial of
Saudi Crown Prince Nayef tops Arab news on Monday.
“Saudi Arabia and the world bid farewell to Prince Nayef,” reads the
headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat. According to the
daily, the prince was buried in a “simple ceremony” in a Mecca
London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi looks to the future with its
headline reading “Saudi Arabia buries its ‘strong man’ and a battle
begins to select his heir.” The daily opines that prince Salman,
minister of defense and another son of Saudi Arabia’s founder Abdul
Aziz, will be appointed as crown prince.
Many editorials Monday analyze the future of Saudi leadership
following Nayef’s death.
“From his office in the interior ministry, Prince Nayef observed the
successive earthquakes in the region over the past 40 years,
monitoring their effect and mobilizing to prevent their harm,”
eulogizes Al-Hayat editor-in-chief Ghassan Cherbel.
In an editorial titled “The Saudi challenge,” A-Sharq Al-Awsat
columnist Abd Al-Rahman Rashed recalls the success of Prince Nayef in
averting an Iranian attempt to sow sectarian strife during the Haj
pilgrimage in the 1980s.
“It is difficult for any political institution in the world to to
overcome major consecutive shocks such as the passing of crown prince
Sultan seven months ago and now the shock in the death of prince
Nayef,” writes Rashed. “Two pillars of the state are gone, but the
regime in Saudi Arabia stands strong for it is an establishment, not
Al-Quds Al-Arabi, an anti-monarchic pan-Arab daily, agrees that
Nayef’s death will not destabilize Saudi Arabia.
“The absence of Prince Nayef will leave a gaping void at the summit
of power, but we do not believe that it will create a crisis of
leadership within the ruling family surrounding his succession,”
reads the lead editorial.
Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya interviews a number of Saudi
officials and intellectuals praising Prince Nayef for his involvement
in humanitarian and youth issues, in addition to his well-known
activities in the domain of Saudi national security.
Egypt and preliminary voting results
Arab newspapers went to print before the preliminary results of the
Egyptian presidential vote began to emerge. Nevertheless, Egypt’s
political future features high in Arab news coverage Monday.
“Egypt prepares for its new president and the vow will take place
before the constitutional court,” reads the headline of A-Sharq Al-
Awsat, which features a photo of Egyptian men standing in line to
vote. According to the daily, “confusion” is overtaking the Egyptian
street and some voters hesitated about their choice all the way to
“Egypt awaits the name of the president, and the military prepares to
confront protests,” reads the headline of Al-Hayat. The article
features two soldiers blocking the way of a mass of Egyptian women.
“Does the Brotherhood want to isolate Tantawi?” asks Al-Hayat
columnist Abdallah Iskandar Monday, referring to the head of the
Supreme Council of the Armed forces, the de facto ruler of Egypt.
“Egyptians will not decide the nature of their forthcoming regime
through the ballot box yesterday and today,” writes Iskandar.
“Although the SCAF succeeded in imposing a road map since February
2011… all these moves did not conclusively resolve any of the issues
Egyptian intellectual Mamoun Fandy, who in the past proposed
postponing the elections, uses the existence of an
Egyptian “department of drinking water and sewage” as an illustration
of what he describes as a state of mental and cultural confusion
prevalent in Egypt. He says Egyptians simply do not know how to
accept constructive criticism.
“The state of confusion in meanings is a general condition of Egypt
which is going through major transformations,” Fandy writes. “Either
extreme anger or complete disregard. Those are permanent Egyptian
conditions which will not change in this revolution, nor in the
preceding one nor in the next one,” Fandi writes in A-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Egyptian dailies are no less dramatic Monday.
“The people have voted, and Egypt awaits its ‘destiny,’” reads the
headline of Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. An ironic
article about SCAF’s new constitutional declaration is titled “SCAF
hands over power to SCAF.” (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 06/18/12)
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