Excerpts: Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Russia- Israel cooperation. Hariri
believes Syria maligned. Opinion of wealthy American friend of Middle East
rulers. Saudi is Yemens new Al-Qaeda leader. Hariri clears Syria of guilt in
father's assassination. Israeli settlement slowdown. Jordans Islamists
threat of election boycott continues. Palestinian Authority reprimands Iran.
Vatican re Irans stoning. September 06, 2010
+++SOURCE: New York Times 6 Sept '10:"Thin Line for Group of Muslims in
By Thanassis Cambanis
SUBJECT: Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
QUOTE:"The Muslim Brotherhood is engaged in a delecate dance"
EXCERPTSCAIRO - One by one, the guests at the Muslim Brotherhood's annual
iftar banquet strode to the rostrum. A who's who of Egypt's opposition began
hectoring the Islamist group. The Brotherhood, they said, by far the most
muscular and influential of Egypt's dissident organizations, should withdraw
from the coming parliamentary election that would most certainly be rigged
by the authoritarian government.. . .
"The Muslim Brotherhood is engaged in a delicate dance. Despite all efforts
to marginalize the Islamist organization by the United States and its close
ally, the Egyptian government, it remains the most credible opposition
group. Some of its members want the Brotherhood to fight the government head
on, but the Islamist leadership has other goals: freedom to proselytize and
organize in neighborhoods, and in the long term, a lifting of the official
government ban on its activities.
With an end in sight to President Hosni Mubarak's 29-year reign, the
Brotherhood appears to be signaling its willingness to cut a deal with Mr.
Mubarak's potential successors by not overtly challenging the ruling party's
monopoly on power.
In a widely noted shift in tactics, the Muslim Brotherhood has joined forces
with the secular opposition, taking charge of a petition drive to demand
that the government lift the state of emergency and reform election rules.
The Brotherhood as of Sunday(5 Sept.) afternoon had collected 653,657
secular parties' 106,661.
The groups aim to gather one million names before Ramadan ends Friday.
Secular groups mistrust the Brotherhood, which they say is more interested
in muscling aside smaller opposition parties than in demanding an end to the
National Democratic Party's emergency rule.
"We are forced to come together," said Hassan Nafaa, a political scientist
at Cairo University and the head of the National Association for Change.
His organization wants a secular, free political system based on Egypt's
existing, if often ignored, Constitution, but he recognizes that the
opposition needs the Brotherhood's disciplined rank and file to have any
chance at success. So for the time being, he is willing to ignore their
differences. "No one will be able to change the system alone," Mr. Nafaa
. . .. Currently the Brotherhood has the largest opposition bloc - 88 seat
, about 20 percent of the total.
. . . .
In June, the Muslim Brotherhood did not win a single seat in elections for
the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, and there were reports of
widespread violence and vote tampering. Despite its visible support base in
urban areas and the Nile Delta villages, the Brotherhood does not hold even
one of the approximately 50,000 municipal council seats nationwide.
"The entire country is an atmosphere of pre-chaos," said Dr. Esam el-Erian,
an oncologist and spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood leadership. "The
illness of Mr. Mubarak is clear. It is not at all clear where this country
is going.". . .
But the Brotherhood has been careful not to criticize Mr. Mubarak directly
and insists it would never nominate its own candidate for the presidency.
That restraint has bought the Brotherhood freedom to organize, run
candidates for office who identify themselves as independents, and operate
social services, despite the government's official ban and the fact that
hundreds of Brotherhood activists are in prison.
. . .The government, for its part, has warned that it still considers the
Brotherhood a source of violent extremism. . . . State-run television is
broadcasting a 30-day serial about the uslim Brotherhood during Ramadan,
which portrays the group's origins as a religious militia that terrorized
citizens and politicians alike.
The Muslim Brotherhood, said Mohamed Salmawy, president of the Egyptian
Writers' Union, played on people's religious sentiment and dissatisfaction
with the ruling party without offering a serious alternative.
"They can never come up with a real platform," Mr. Salmawy said. "If they
did, it would give them away. They would be found out as people who do not
believe in democracy."
+++SOURCE:Naharnet (Lebanon 6 Sept. '10 Russia Boosts Military Cooperation
SUBJECT: Russia - Israel cooperation
FULL TEXT:The defense ministers of Russia and Israel on Monday(6 Sept.)
signed an agreement on
military cooperation, hailing the unity between Moscow and the Jewish state.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and visiting Israeli counterpart
Ehud Barak did not give details on the nature of the deal, which came after
disputes over Russian arms contracts in the Middle East.
"I am sure the agreement we are signing today will give a new boost to our
bilateral relations," said Serdyukov, quoted by Russian news agencies.
"Our views on many challenges of today are close or identical," he said.
"Primarily this concerns issues of terrorism and non-proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction."
Security ties "help prevent these threats," he said.
The show of unity came after strains between Russia and Israel over Russian
arms sales to the Jewish state's major regional foes, Syria and Iran.
Russian officials said earlier this year that Moscow was selling Syria
MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsir short-range air defense systems and armored
vehicles, provoking anxiety in Israel.
The Israeli press has also reported that Barak's two-day visit is part of an
ongoing dialogue to prevent Russia selling P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles to
Syria, which Israel fears will be transferred to Hizbullah.
Israel is also concerned about Russia's deal with Iran to supply S-300
surface-to-air missile defense systems, a contract signed several years ago
which would significantly improve Iranian air defenses.
However, Russia has yet to deliver the weapons amid heavy pressure not only
from Israel but also the United States.
Barak noted "improving relations" between Russia and Israel, and thanked
Russia for its fight against fascism during World War II.
"We know the truth: the state of Israel would not exist if the Red Army had
not defeated fascist Germany," he said.(AFP)
+++Naharnet(Lebanon) 6 Sept'10:"Hariri: We Have Made Mistakes, False
Misled the Probe and Harmed Ties with Syria"
SUBJECT: Hariri believes Syria maligned
QUOTE:"he [Hariri] feels he is going to a friendly country when he travels
FULL TEXT:Prime Minister Saad Hariri has admitted that the March 14 forces
unfairly rushed to accuse Syria of assassinating his father and that false
witnesses had misled the investigation into ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's
In his first remarks to the press following the third meeting between him
and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hariri told pan-Arab daily Asharq
al-Awsat in remarks published Monday(6 Sept) that he feels he is going to a
country when he travels to Damascus.
He described ties between the two countries as "historic" saying new pages
were opened in the relations since the formation of the Lebanese cabinet.
"One has to assess (events) in previous years so that past mistakes are not
repeated," Hariri said.
"We assessed mistakes that we made and that harmed the Syrian people and
ties between the two countries," the premier told the newspaper. "At a
certain stage we made mistakes and accused Syria of assassinating the
martyred premier. This was a political accusation."
About false witnesses, Hariri said: "Some people have misled the probe and
harmed Syria and Lebanon . They have harmed ties between the two countries
and politicized the assassination."
During an iftar in honor of families and figures from the regions of Minieh,
Dinniyeh, Koura and Zghorta on Sunday(5 Sept), Hariri called for coexistence
the authority of the state.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was a guest of honor at the iftar.
He reiterated that he has been calling since the beginning of Ramadan for
the adoption of "calm rhetoric."
"We want a moderate state where there is no extremism. We want a state where
every citizen has the right to express his opinion freely without being
coerced by anyone," he concluded.
+++Saudi Gazette 6 Sept Abdullah-Obama team is best hope for Mideast peace
By Faheem Al-Hamid
SUBJECT: Opinion of wealthy American friend of Middle East rulers
QUOTE: "he's (Obama) not being paid by Zionist groups in the country the way
many of our
other leaders have been"
WASHINGTON - The scion of one of the wealthiest families of America, Hugh
Roy Marshall, who once counted among his friends King Khalid of Saudi
Arabia, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, says the
Arab-Israeli direct talks that restarted last week in Washington after a
hiatus of nearly two years offer the best chance yet for peace in the
Mideast. . . . "breach of law which has basically
occurred," Marshall said. "I think that with his(Obama's) background he is
from more of a base of knowledge than a base of being biased because he's
not being paid by Zionist groups in the country the way many of our other
leaders had been."
"President Obama has a much better understanding of the situation because he
studied the religion, he studied the people and he sees it - that the Arab
people are not bent upon war and the destruction of anybody," Marshall
said. - Okaz/ SG
+++SOURCE:Saudi Gazette 6 Sept '10:"Saudi named new leader of Al-Qaeda in
By Abdullah Al-Oraifij
SUBJECT: Saudi isYemen's new Al Qaeda leader
QUOTE: Yemini security authorities should cooperate with their Saudi
providing the names of Saudi terrorists"
FULL TEXT:RIYADH - Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in
using it as a launching pad for targeting the Kingdom, has appointed a Saudi
of Yemeni origin, Khaled Battarfi, as the leader of the organization in
Abyan Governorate, a Yemeni government official disclosed to Okaz/Saudi
The move follows the killing of the former leader Jameel Al-Anbari in an air
strike on March 14 that targeted the organization's members in Moudiah city,
said Ahmad Ali Al-Qufaishi, director general of Lodar Province, which is
located in southern Yemen.
Speaking by telephone, he said Battarfi, 35, who is also known as Abu Miqdad
Al-Kindi, is the "Shariah-in-charge" in the terrorist organization in Yemen.
He commanded two terrorist attacks that targeted Yemeni troops in the
southern parts of the country and killed 12 soldiers in the first attack,
two in the second.
Battarfi was among those holed up in citizens' homes in Lodar Province when
security forces surrounded the terrorists and fought fierce gun battles with
them in the past two weeks, Al-Qufaishi said.
Al-Shihri and Al-Wuhaishi
Al-Qufaishi drew attention to the fact that important commanders of the
terrorist organization were present in Lodar when the security
confrontations started and they were able to escape despite a tight security
He pointed out that Nasser Al-Wuhaishi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula, and his deputy, Sa'eed Al-Shihri took advantage of the
area's dense population to escape by using citizens as human shields.
The latest information is that the two men are moving between Al-Baidha,
Marib and Shabwa, depending on the state of security in the areas,
The fate of the leader
Word that Al-Wuhaishi had escaped was the first confirmation that he is
alive after there was speculation that he had been killed in the recent
months' security strikes that targeted Al-Qaeda strongholds in Yemen.
He had not been seen recently and his recordings had not been posted on
websites operated by the organization in Yemen, which include "Sada
Al-Malahim," an information window for Jihad Al-Qaeda, Al-Qufaishi said.
The death of a Saudi
Al-Qufaishi said citizens in Lodar refused to bury a Saudi terrorist who
died in the recent confrontations, which forced the terrorist organization
to bury him so security authorities would not be able to identify the body.
He stressed that this criminal conduct is well known and that the terrorist
organization always tries to hide its members' identities when they are
Al-Qufaishi estimated that 50 terrorists escaped, including six Saudis, two
Egyptians, two Pakistanis, and others of different nationalities.
Terrorists remain in the area, including newly recruited members, most of
whom "are Yemenis who were moving among the crowds with their AK-47s on
their shoulders, showing their daring to appear in the open in commercial
areas and public squares, using the citizens as human shields when the
security forces come close to them," he said.
Exchange of information
Experts in combating terrorism said Yemeni security authorities should
cooperate further with their Saudi counterparts, particularly in providing
Saudi authorities with the names of Saudi terrorists they are pursuing or
Experts agree that the exchange of information would help Yemenis play a
bigger role in defeating Al-Qaeda and boost the country's credibility in the
international community regarding its stated seriousness in combating terror
because what happens in Yemen affects Saudi Arabia and vice versa.
What is important at this stage is that Yemeni officials have sincere
intentions to uproot Al-Qaeda and eradicate it, experts said.
The Director General of Lodar Province stressed that the security successes
there would not have been achieved without the cooperation of Saudi security
No American participation
Al-Qufaishi denied that there was any foreign participation in the recent
confrontations. He said warplanes have not made air strikes and refuted
reports that American drone aircraft participated in the recent operations.
He emphasized that security forces of his country carried out those
operations and that there was no assistance from other countries. - Okaz/SG
+++SOURCE: Egyptian Gazette 6 Sept'10:"Hariri says was wrong in blaming
SUBJECT: Hariri clears Syria of guilt in father's assassination
FULL TEXT:BEIRUT - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said
in comments published on Monday that he erred in accusing Syria
of the murder of his father,
ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, in a 2005 bombing in Beirut.
"At some point, we made a mistake," Hariri told the Saudi-owned daily
Asharq Al-Awsat. "At one stage, we accused Syria of assassinating the
"That was a political accusation, and that political accusation is
over," Hariri told the London-based newspaper.
"There is a (UN) court that is doing its job, and we for our part must
reassess what happened," he said.
"The tribunal is completely independent of our political accusations,
which were made prematurely," Hariri added. "The tribunal only takes into
Rafiq Hariri was killed in a massive bombing in the Lebanese capital on
February 14, 2005, that also claimed another 22 lives, at a time when Syria
retained a tight grip over its smaller neighbour.
Saad Hariri and his allies pinned the blame on Damascus, which was forced
to withdraw its troops from Lebanon that April, ending a presence of nearly
Damascus has consistently denied any involvement in the assassination.
Since taking office as prime minister last year, the Western- and
Saudi-backed Hariri has made five visits to the Syrian capital.
During a visit in July, he signed 17 cooperation agreements and called
for closer ties. He also visited President Bashar al-Assad in August.
The United Nations set up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2007 to
find and try those behind the Hariri assassination.
Preliminary reports by a committee of The Hague-based tribunal concluded
there was evidence implicating Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services in
Hariri's murder but there are no suspects currently in custody.
Tensions over the tribunal's pending indictment have risen sharply in
Lebanon in recent months as the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah
movement, which sits in the national unity government led by Hariri, has
reacted angrily to rumours that it may be implicated in the tribunal's
+++SOURCE:Egyptian Gazette 6 Sept '10:"Settlement slowdown will end- Israeli
SUBJECT: Israeli settlement slowdown
FULL TEXT:TEL AVIV - Israel's hard-line foreign minister says his party will
extension of Israel's settlement slowdown, which could upend new Mideast
Avigdor Lieberman says the Israeli government must keep its word that
the 10-month slowdown will end at the end of September. He says his Yisrael
Beitenu party will ensure that the coalition government does not pass any
The Palestinians say that if the slowdown is not extended they will quit
the fragile talks, which began last week in Washington.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been vague about his plans for the
end of the slowdown. Many members of his own Likud party oppose an
Netanyahu is set to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas again next
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 6 Sept '10:" Islamists, National Unity Party
By Mohammad Ben Hussein
SUBJECT:Jordan Islamists' threat of election boycott continues
FULL TEXT:AMMAN - Opposition parties foregoing this year's parliamentary
Sunday(5 Sept) held a meeting to highlight the "importance" of their
Officials from the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the
Muslim Brotherhood, the National Unity Party and several independent
politicians gathered at IAF headquarters yesterday to explore options to
enforce a unified elections boycott, according to Hamzah Mansour, IAF
secretary general.. . .
Mansour said the temporary Elections Law must be amended in line with "the
aspiration of all opposition parities and independent figures who have been
calling for an improved electoral process".
Officials from the Islamist movement said the two parties will be
coordinating on a number of issues, including hosting public forums to shed
light on the "negative impact" of the current Elections Law.
According to Saeed Thiab, secretary general of the National Unity Party,
further meetings will be held in the near future to garner support for their
. .Earlier last week, five opposition parties, the Jordan Communist Party,
Hashed Party, the Jordan Baath Party, the National Movement Party and the
Popular Baath Party, announced their intention to run in the upcoming
elections on a unified ticket.
In the 2007 elections, the Islamic Action Front was the only political party
to make it to the Lower House of Parliament, receiving six seats in its
worst showing since political life was restored in 1989.
The parliamentary polls are slated to be held on November 9.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 6 Sept'10:".Palestinian Authority lashes out at Iran
Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Palestinian Authority reprimands Iran
QUOTE:"Iran implacably opposes the new talks and has given strong support to
FULL TEXT:RAMALLAH (AFP) - The Palestinian Authority lashed out Saturday(4
Sept) at Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his remarks about the relaunching of
direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
The Iranian president, "who does not represent the Iranian people, who
falsified elections and took power by fraud does not have the right to talk
about Palestine, its president or its representatives," Palestinian
Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement distributed by the
official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
"We are defending our national rights and interests" and will not allow
anyone to "threaten us or question the legitimacy of the Palestinian
Liberation Organisation" led by President Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Rudeina added.
Calling Western-backed Abbas a hostage of Israel, Ahmadinejad said the talks
begun Thursday(3 Sept) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in
lacked legitimacy as the Palestinian leader had no right to make concessions
in the name of Palestinians.
"What do they want to negotiate about? Who are they representing? What are
they going to talk about?" Ahmadinejad asked rhetorically about Abbas'
negotiating team during a rally Friday in Tehran.
"Who gave them the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of
Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an
inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and
Iran implacably opposes the new talks and has given strong support to the
Islamist movement Hamas, which carried out two attacks against Israeli
settlers in the occupied West Bank that killed four people and cast a pall
over the talks relaunch.
+++SOURCE:JORDAN TIMES 6 Sept'10:"'Vatican following Iran stoning case' "
SUBJECT: Vatican re Iran's 'stoning'
QUOTE: "Vatican said it was using 'diplomatic channels' to intervene"
FULL TEXT:CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AFP) - The Vatican said on Sunday(5 Sept)
it was in contact
with Tehran over the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning
for adultery amid a global diplomatic push for clemency. The Vatican said it
was using "diplomatic channels" to intervene in the case, while Italy urged
Iran for an "act of clemency". Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old
mother of two, is facing the death penalty after being convicted of having
an extramarital relationship in a case that has sparked an?international
campaign for her release. "The Holy See is following this affair with
attention and commitment," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a
statement issued in response to journalists' questions on the matter.
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA