Morning News Headlines
European Union Evaluating Relations With Egypt
Just as the United States is weighing the pros and cons of suspending its annual aid to Egypt, the European Union have announced the launch of an “urgent review” of its $5 billion appropriation, as well as ties to the embattled nation itself.
In a press release, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy stated:
“While all should exert maximum restraint, we underline the particular responsibility of the interim authorities and of the army in bringing clashes to a halt. The violence and the killings of these last days cannot be justified nor condoned. Human rights must be respected and upheld,” they said in announcing an “urgent review” of EU-Egyptian relations.
“Essentially, any ending of aid would mean the United States turning its back on the only group in Egypt that is a well-established partner.
“The US has more leverage in Egypt than it may think. But if it cuts off aid, it will be left with very little indeed. This would greatly complicate American strategic relations in the broader Arab world by reinforcing the notion that the US does not stand by its friends.”
On The Middle East, The West Just Does Not Understand
Chris Booker of London’s Telegraph contends that Egypt is one example of the failure of the West to understand the politics of the Middle East. The wishful thinking of the US towards Iran’s new regime, he asserts, exemplifies just how deluded some are to the realities on the ground.
Rather than recognizing newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani’s ties to the old regime, Booker argues that leaders in Europe and the US have shown “”endless gullibility” by embracing the new leader.
“What so many in the West seem unable to grasp is that Rouhani, like his
predecessor Ahmadinejad, is just a creature of the real power in Iran, centered in the country’s “Supreme Leader”, the Ayatollah Khamenei,” he writes and says Rouhani has for “more than 20 years” been “a key apparatchik of the regime, serving at the heart of its military, security and intelligence system.”
Where Are All The World’s Leaders?
“We live in a world where no single country or group of countries can provide dominant, sustainable global leadership—G-Zero, as I call it—and that’s in large part because so many countries lack solid leadership at home. As I look around the world, I see only three leaders of major countries that, like the pope, are managing to squelch opposition, carve out a more impactful role for themselves, and undertake difficult reforms, all while leveraging their popularity and consolidating their strength,” Reuters columnist Ian Bremmer writes.
Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm, says he sees three leaders as breakouts in terms of global leadership and they are an unlikely trio. In no particular order, he points to Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, China’s Xi Jinping, and Japan’s Shinzo Abe as examples to follow.