After President Mohamed Morsy’s two last visits to China and Iran, columnists across Egyptian newspapers analyze his speech at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran and the new Chinese grant. Some praised Morsy’s early steps towards a new page of Egyptian international relations, others see that his trips, especially that to Iran, will add to the already tense relations with the country.
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Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Salmawi explores President Mohamed Morsy’s latest trip to China stating that the essence of his journey should have focused on learning how to increase the country’s production rate while utilizing its large population. As China is famous for its massive number of residents, the country is deemed one of the top achievers in productivity and output. Salmawi expects that the journey will help Egyptian experts focus attention, while revisiting the country’s population dossier. Quoting an Egyptian researcher, Hesham al-Roubi, the writer states that Egypt can imitate China with regards to the concept of high population and ablity to skyrocket its productivity rate much more than the current status, only if it uses its manpower wisely.
He then recalls his latest visit to Britain in 2011 where he discovered that the number of newborns have increased to 400, 000, but British experts have looked at the number as an additional asset to the country’s production rate. But, in order for these children to add to the country’s resources, Britain should first provide them with the necessary education and health benefits from their early childhood years. Wrapping up his article, Salmawi notes that his first expectation of Morsy’s visit to China is a focus on the population file, rather than the grant of 70 million U.S. dollars and 300 ambulance vehicles.
Emad Al-Din Hussein
Al-Saeidi hinders Shafiq’s road to politics
Hussein discusses the recent legal decision to add ex-presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on Cairo airport’s watch list. Shafiq managed to attract almost quarter of the votes of Egyptians during the last presidential elections. After failing to reach presidency, he fled to Emirates and his campaign has announced that he has traveled to perform Umra. Soon after, Egyptians heard that Shafiq plans to take his first steps in forming a political party with which he hopes to compete with in the coming parliamentary elections, which are supposed to take place in the coming few months.
The legal announcement issued by Councilor Mahmoud Al-Saedi to have Shafiq on the watch list, in Hussein’s estimation, mean that the latter will never cross the Egyptian border as long as the Muslim Brotherhood is ruling the country. It also almost states that Shafiq is being strongly pushed away from Egyptian politics. The writer then quotes Shafiq’s first press statements to Sky News when he affirmed his will to come back Egypt, as soon as he finds the chance to make this move.
It is hardly likely that Mubarak’s last prime minister will leave Abu Dhabi, where he currently resides, and come back to Egypt amid the judicial and political landmine awaiting his arrival. To conclude his article, Hussein states that if Shafiq did not return back to his homeland, all his supporters and fans will be struck by severe disappointment that their only hope of ending the era of the Muslim Brotherhood has faded away.
What’s after Morsy’s victory in a battle with the Persian state?
Exploring Mohamed Morsy’s very unique visit to Iran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, Qandil praises the president for his speech and performance during the rare trip. In his viewpoint, Qandil states that Morsy’s words in Iran have deeply touched upon the minds and feelings of the Arab states, especially when he defended the Syrians and publicly chided the Al-Assad regime. It is only when Morsy courageously pointed out his criticism to the Syrian bloodshed that Qandil believes the spirit of the 25 January revolution has proven its vitality. Qandil notes that Morsy has managed during one visit to achieve several goals at a time.
The first achievement would materialize in the concept of visiting Iran, a country that Egypt has cut back relations with for about 30 years. Morsy has wisely chosen the occasion of the Non-Aligned Summit to restore the frozen relations with the country. In the process, he showed extraordinary strength challenging the Israeli and American governments not welcoming to the move. It can be said that excellent diplomatic skills have been displayed during his visit to Iran; probably resulting from a public pressure that Egypt should remain independent in all its foreign relations, policies, and strategies.
The Muslim brotherhood and media
Shoman strives to dissect the relation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian media. Shoman believes that the once-banned Islamic group has always been trapped in a complicated relationship with media. Most of those active in Political Islam fear the press and look at media as the main root of chaos, violence and baffling of public opinion.
While many Islamists bear in mind the possible media repercussions while portraying politicians and prominent figures, many have worked on fortifying their relations with journalists and media professionals. The writer states that despite the Muslim Brother’s hostility towards media, this does not prevent them from striving to control it. They have always succeeded in directing media towards their own interests, even during Mubarak’s era, when they were politically prohibited.
The challenge now materializes in the fact that the political influence the Muslim Brothers have is incomparable to the power they have over media. Even if the Islamist group managed to exercise its full control over media institutions, the writer expects that the quality of the media will suffer. Shoman cites the example of the official TV station of the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘Misr 25’, and criticizes the way it portrays the Islamist group, dashing all basics of journalism objectivity and independence. Wrapping up his column, the writer calls upon the Muslim Brotherhood to stop clinging onto any ambitions they have to dominate Egypt’s media.
Egypt and Iran
Revisiting President Morsy’s trip to Iran, Emad Gad commences his article with a brief background about the country and its long-cut relations with Egypt. There are currently no diplomatic relations with Iran, due to the Iranian revolution that took place in 1979 and the tense Egyptian-Israeli relations. The situation reached its utmost levels of tension after the killing of late President Anwar Al-Sadat, when Iran celebrated his death, as Gad puts it. Despite that, Iran has been one of the very supportive countries to the Egyptian 25 January revolution, describing it as the second Islamic revolution.
After the uprising, the country has seen possible potential relations with Egypt, especially against Israel and the U.S. Morsy’s visit to Iran came to unveil the deep conflicts between the two countries. Morsy spoke against the Al-Assad Syrian regime leading to the departure of the Syrian delegation from the Non-Aligned Summit. He has also recalled honoring the Islamic Caliphates had direct messages to the Shi’a community in Iran as he stressed his deep Sunni beliefs. In Gad’s viewpoint, Morsy’s visit to Iran will not end up fruitful as expected by many. The trip will further tighten tensions between the two countries, especially after Morsy’s inflammatory speech.