Newspapers across the Arab world dedicated many of their pages on Sunday to the perceived challenges posed to the Middle East by new US President Donald Trump.
One of the most frequently discussed issues was what relations between Arab countries and the US would look like under Trump.
(Qatar) The paper’s editorial stated that the Gulf states envision “a promising future for the Gulf countries and the US in the hope that Trump will come with an open mind.” The newspaper’s editorial board also expressed hope that “both sides will work together in order to neutralize the fears influencing relations and to strengthen strategic cooperation in accordance with the Gulf States’ requirements.”‘Al-Khaleej’
(UAE) The paper’s editorial read: “Trump will have to prove if he stands behind his campaign promises, for example those regarding relations with China, the Iranian nuclear issue, relations with Europe and NATO, and relations with Russia, considering the Kremlin and the White House’s stances on the Ukrainian crisis and Syria.”
The newspaper added that “Trump will be challenged by his provocative statements on the Palestinian issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as by his promises to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On the issue of moving the embassy, Trump took a position in opposition to international law and legitimacy and will hurt the feelings of Arabs and Muslims...We stand before a new president in the White House, different than others, who handles every issue in a surprising fashion. We must wait and see, but the moment of truth has arrived.”‘An-Nahar’
(Lebanon) The journalist Sameh Sa’eb wrote “Trump must set his priorities: Does he want to clash with Russia or be its ally against international terrorism? In either case, Syria will be the trial ground where the possibility of cooperation or confrontation between Trump and Putin will be tested.”‘Al-Ittihad’
(UAE) Journalist Saleh Abdul Rahman wrote: “There are those who claim that the new president will be a symbolic president, who will not exercise his constitutional powers on a daily basis, but rather will transfer them to his aides and consultants in the White House, most of whom are businessmen and CEOs and they will break all the rules of liberal commerce.”‘Al-Jazirah’
(Saudi Arabia) The paper highlighted Saudi King Salman’s message of congratulations to President Trump, in which he stressed “the importance of developing relations based on an overall strategy that serves our common interests.”‘Al-Shorouk’
(Egypt) Fahmy Howaidy wrote: “It is difficult to prophecy the earthquakes that Trump will initiate in the world, in the shadow of his hostility for democracy, his contempt for human rights, his disagreement with the Palestinians and his wager on Russia in the conflict with China.”‘Okaz’
(Saudi Arabia) It expressed optimism and called on other countries not to be pessimistic about the new leader of the free world’s policies.
“We must work in accordance with our interests and find friends on the president’s staff that will have influence as to whether the world power will be on your side or against you.”‘Al Ra’i’
(Jordan) The paper featured an analysis holding that “Jordanian-American relations are positive, despite the new administration’s declarations that it will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”‘Al-Ghad’
(Jordan) Columnist Barhoum Jeraisy wrote: “Trump’s first test will be if he follows through with his promise to transfer the embassy to occupied Jerusalem.
Secondly, he will be judged by his position that ‘the settlements are not an obstacle to peace.’ More tests will follow, as he needs to stand up to the occupation government, which is beginning massive settlement projects in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.”