Newspaper review: WEF Summit praises UAE economy; Egypt communal violence flayed

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UAE newspaper review

The two-day World Economic Forums Summit on the Global Agenda 2011, held in Abu Dhabi, has been given prominent coverage by the Emirati newspapers.

“The UAE’s economy is well-positioned to offset the impact of the current economic challenges facing Europe and the US,” Gulf Times quoted UAE officials as saying at the economic summit. The event was attended by hundreds of economists and experts who discussed important issues related to global and regional economies, the Dubai-based paper added.

The National says Sheikh Abdullah, UAE’s minister for foreign affairs, emphasised that piracy in Indian Ocean threatened international businesses as well as security and prosperity in the region.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the nature of the challenges the world faces today requires the development of new models, or the adaptation of traditional ones, if they are to be addressed effectively. Collectively, we all have a role in progressing comprehensive responses to increasingly complex global dynamics, Khaleej Times reported UAEs Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan as saying in his keynote speech.

REGIONAL

The papers have also unanimously highlighted the rage of Copts at the deaths of 26 people, mostly Christian, killed on Sunday by the Egyptian army.

Gulf News published a photograph of grieving Coptic Christian women outside the morgue of Coptic hospital in Cairo.

The National’s foreign correspondent said more clashes broke outside Coptic hospital when Copts chanted “Peace, peace” and demanded Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, Egypt’s de-facto ruler, to step down immediately.

Khaleej Times reported that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has ‘tasked the government with quickly forming a fact finding committee to determine what happened’. The Copts were holding a demonstration against an attack earlier this month on a church in southern city of Aswan when the violence broke out in Cairo.

EDITORIAL

In an article titled “Darkness in Cairo”, the editor expressed his concern over the deteriorating communal situation in Egypt while highlighting the fact that Egyptians are tolerant by nature. “Time will tell if the outburst was provoked or prompted or even choreographed by elements still seeking solace in the dead regime and holding out a certain loyalty and finding comfort in every such negative occurrence,” the editor commented while referring to certain dark elements of Egyptian society that prosper on violence and hatred. “At this time the country needs every person to do their bit, to bury differences and let what happened on Black Sunday be an object lesson that it should never happen again,” the Khaleej Times editorial concluded.

The National’s editorial says what began as a brawl between Muslims and Coptic Christians flared into a full-blown violence with deaths due to the alleged heavy-handedness of Egyptian security forces. The paper focuses on the burning debate about the role of religion in governments in the aftermath of Arab Spring. Citing the increasing role of Islamists in revolutions across the Middle East, especially in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, the editor highlighted the irony that Islamists themselves have long been sidelined by the very autocratic regimes they overthrew with the help of secular groups. “The key question everywhere is how inclusive new governments will be,” the editorial noted.

Gulf News also focused its attention on Egypt which is considered as the traditional leader of the Arab world. The editor urged the rulers as well as the people of Egypt to “convey to the world that what happened as part of the Arab Spring was a catalyst for graduation to a system of democracy where citizens are respected, irrespective of their background or beliefs”. It also stressed the 80-million strong nation to stand firm against certain elements of the society who benefit from the social and political flux. “They must realise that democracy could be the balm that heals all wounds, old and new, and help facilitate that process,” the article concluded.

By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette

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