Newspaper review: UAE National Day plans announced; Syria financial collapse imminent

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UAE newspaper review

The front pages of today’s UAE newspapers have published mixed stories ranging from national to international issues.

Khaleej Times reported the government is mulling new welfare plans for expats and an unemployment insurance scheme for UAE nationals. The announcement comes in line with the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting taking place in Paris which urged governments to provide social protection for immigrants as well as natives.

The Dubai-based paper also published a separate article in which it hinted that Dubai government is introducing a master plan for urban development that is expected to open up to 950,000 jobs by 2020.

Gulf News published the statement of UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammad in which he announced a 40-day celebration to mark the 40th National Day of the UAE which falls on 2 December. “It will be a celebration of the achievements of this great nation, and also an opportunity for the whole community to truly unite and reflect on what it means to be Emirati, or call the UAE our home,” he said while inaugurating the official website of UAE national day.

The National, in contrast, reported Syria’s imminent financial collapse as the lead story with its foreign correspondent warning that the Baathist regime is spending money they don’t have with all credit facilities completely blocked.

Gulf News’ correspondent reported from neighbouring Occupied West Bank that Tel Aviv has approved a plan to construct 1,100 new illegal homes in Occupied East Jerusalem.

EDITORIALS

Both Khaleej Times and Gulf News have addressed the stance of Syrian government against opposition protestors and the situation Al-Assad regime faces on domestic and international front.

In an article titled ‘Damascus in denial’, Khaleej Times says Syrian Foreign Minister’s charge that the West is interfering in the internal affairs of the country is serious indeed. The writer, however, points out that the regime’s strategy to contain the protests by brutal crackdowns has only added fuel to the fire. With several units of armed forces openly defecting and sectarian tensions on the rise, the editor insists that normalcy is not possible unless a political solution is achieved and that will not happen unless Assad commits himself to a proper dialogue with the opposition.

Gulf News, on the other hand, believes a fresh start is needed in Syria while warning Damascus that shooting of tens of people every week is not right and will not resolve the crisis. The article underlines the fact that “popular protests at first demanded fairly simple reforms looking for more transparency in government and were surprisingly modest about their demands on President Bashar Al Assad”. It continues to suggest that continued government intransigence forced many protesters to change their minds and now demand the overthrow of Al-Assad regime.

By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette

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