The papers on Saturday are dominated by the news from Libya where Gaddafi loyalists are putting on a stiff resistance. The National carried a large 5 column photograph that shows rebels carrying an injured fighter away from the battle field. It also reported the death of 11 rebels during an offensive on Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown.
Khaleej Times has published the image of blazing artillery gun shelling pro-Gaddafi forces east of Sirte.
Gulf News reported that the transitional council has been given control of Libya’s General Assembly ?seat after a vote by the 193 member assembly. The resolution garnered 114 votes in favour while 17 countries, mostly from African and Latin America, opposed the transfer.
UAE newspapers highlighted the pledge made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek full UN membership. “We are going to the UN to request our legitimate right, obtaining full membership for Palestine in this organisation,” Gulf News quoted Abbas saying in a televised speech.
Khaleej Times quoted Israeli Prime Minister saying in response to Abbas’ speech that Palestinians would not achieve peace through their ?unilateral? bid for UN membership.
The National’s foreign correspondent reported that Obama has already promised to veto any bid for statehood when it reaches the 15 member Security Council.
Gulf News says Syrian forces killed 40 protestors as the people’s revolution entered its 27th week.? The paper also published a statement issued by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he blasted the Baathist regime in Syria and predicted its imminent downfall.
Meanwhile, Khaleej Times reported that hundreds of Kuwaitis took part in a reform rally and demanded an elected government while limiting the monarch’s powers. Dubbed as the “people’s day”, protestors chanted slogans demanding the ouster of the prime minister from ruling family and thorough investigation of the vote-for-cash corruption scandal.
The National opines in its editorial that the Federal National Council (FNC) elections campaign is proving to be a valuable countrywide classroom where 460 candidates are learning the process and tactics of running for an office while the 129,000-plus Emirati voters are sharpening their skills to listen, assess and choose. “No matter how governance evolves in the future, it is plainly in the national interest that a sound electoral culture should gain a good foothold,” the paper said in its commentary.
Gulf News reminded citizens of the impending deadlines for Emiratis and expatriates to apply for ID cards while warning about the fines on those who will miss the opportunity. The paper asks the authorities to take active steps to integrate various services into the identity card, so that residents begin to use it. “Steps must be taken for the seamless renewal of the card along with residence visas,” the Dubai-based daily suggests.
Khaleej Times has denounced the stalling of Palestinian statehood bid at the UN by what it called “an international conglomerate”. The paper says that the EU and the US have almost conveyed the message to the Palestinian leadership that their move for an independent Palestinian state doesn?t fit in their scheme of things. The KT editor insists this is nothing but “shamefully giving into Israel?s intransigence.”
By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette