A photograph of the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan receiving rulers as well as top ranking officials of the UAE features on the main pages of Khaleej Times as well as Gulf News. The National, however, has published the image of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Egyptian head of state Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in Cairo. The National also highlights the fact that a young Turkish boy who used to sell snacks on Istanbul streets has went on to become the most powerful man of not only Turkey but also an influential figure in the Middle East.
KT and Gulf News also carried a statement issued by the Turkish PM in which he urged the Arabs to back the Palestinian bid for statehood and confront any US moves to back Israeli counter-measures to derail the process. Erdogan has also taken a tough line against Syria and demanded the Alawite-dominated Assad regime to share power with the Sunni Muslim majority.
Gulf News reported the sudden sacking of UAE Minister of Health Dr. Hanif Hassan as announced by WAM, the national news agency. No reason was given for the high profile shuffle in the UAE cabinet.
The National says FNC race is in top gear as candidates capture front pages of the nation’s Arabic language newspapers by placing ads and election manifestos. Four popular Arabic newspapers, Al-Ittihad, Al-Bayan, Emarat Al-Youm and Al-Khaleej have so far published 159 adverts of 71 candidates between them and much more is yet to come as none of the candidates has reached the AED2 million campaigning ceiling yet.
Both Gulf News and Khaleej Times reported the deadly Taliban storming of high-security areas of Kabul which house the US embassy, NATO-ISAF headquarters and residencies of foreign diplomats and executives. Reports say 2 civilians, 2 policemen and at least 6 Taliban fighters were killed in the multi-prong attacks which also injured dozens of people.
Khaleej Times? has welcomed the momentum of FNC elections and noted that candidates are taking the issues of employment, empowerment of women and housing seriously. The use of technology, especially social media and SMS, is hailed as a great step forward for the country.
Gulf News insists GCC aid package for Jordan and Morocco is a better idea than the full membership without giving reasons as to why. The editor believes GCC played an important role in providing direction to the Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and funds given to Amman and Rabat will do well to fit into the framework of inter-Arab cooperation.
“Criminal networks must be nipped in the bud” is the title of The National’s editorial in which it urges the authorities and people not to take relative freedom from serious crimes as granted. The paper cites the example of “blade mafia” that charges high interests to its borrowers and demands passports and other important documents as collateral. Human smuggling, drug trafficking and prostitution rings are also becoming serious issues in the UAE, the newspaper insists.
By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette