Newspaper review: Papers report regional uprisings in Syria, Libya

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UAE newspaper review

Today’s newspapers reflect the regional disturbances in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Gulf News reported signs of civil war in Syria after troops loyal to Baathist regime pounded the rebel-controlled town of Rastan and claimed taking control of it after heaving fighting. The paper quoted a claim made by Omar Al Homsi, a member of the revolutionary coordination committee, that nearly 10,000 soldiers and officers have defected to the opposition.

Khaleej Times said Syrian National Council (SNC) will mobilise people against the Al Assad Regime and overthrow it through a peaceful revolution. The SNC will have a 29-strong general secretariat that will represent seven opposition factions including local coordination committees, Muslim Brotherhood, liberals and tribal representatives, the Dubai-based paper added.

Humanitarian crisis in Gaddafi hometown of Sirte was under The National’s spotlight which reported of food, fuel and medical supplies shortages as NTC fighters prolong their siege. Fighting continued in the coastal city despite a two-day ceasefire with tanks and artillery shelling pro-Gaddafi positions, the paper’s foreign correspondent described.

A news item appearing in Gulf News said at least 30 troops were killed in a friendly fire incident in south Yemen town of Zinjibar when an airforce warplane bombarded a school used as barracks by the Yemeni army.

TONY BLAIR BLASTED

Tony Blair, Middle East Quartet envoy, has come under intense criticism for favouring Israel and doing nothing to revive the stalled peace process.

The National reported that Palestinian leadership has openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the former British Prime Minister and urged the Quartet to force Israel to freeze settlements and accept West Bank’s pre-1967 boundaries before the resumption of any meaningful peace talks.

Khaleej Times quoted Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s welcoming statement of Quartet peace efforts is “an exercise of deceiving the international community”.

EDITORIALS

The articles written by UAE newspaper editors cover a diverse range of topics as usual.

The National says ambiguity poses a serious threat to the accuracy of census being carried out by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and western region. The Abu Dhabi government intends to use the generated data generated to base its policies on education, housing, business and investment. The editor expressed his concern that information on sub-leasing, illegal immigration, singles living in family residencies, people of the opposite sex living together without being married – technically illicit and widespread practices yet known to the government – could worry many respondents.

Gulf News has urged the US government to uphold the rule of law by revoking the dangerous legislation rushed through the Congress in 2001 by former Bush administration. The article says that Obama is using the resolution that authorises the president to use force against “nations, organisations, or persons” involved in the September 11 attacks, “in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the US”. “This dangerous piece of legislation should be revoked, and Obama should return the US armed forces to their normal jurisdiction. The rule of law should be paramount for the American president and commander in chief,” the editor insisted.

Khaleej Times asks where is Gaddafi in its editorial today. The article says that the hunt for Gaddafi is still on but odds are that he may not be in his stronghold of Sirte. The editor expresses his hope that the world does not get too busy with fresher crises and forget about the resurrection of Libya after the liberation. “Recent history is far too full of broken promises and unfinished business,” the editorial reminds.

By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette

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