Arab Media: Hot off the Arab press

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

People seek cover from rising dust as a Qatari military cargo plane carrying aid lands at the international airport of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. (photo credit: REUTERS)
People seek cover from rising dust as a Qatari military cargo plane carrying aid lands at the international airport of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Dramatic Batt le over Aden
Asharq al-Awsat, London, July 29
Yemeni troops, with the aid of Saudi and Emirati forces, succeeded in recapturing the port city of Aden from the hands of the Houthi rebels. This is a dramatic victory for ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who escaped from the very same city, using a speedboat, just several months ago.
The recapturing of Aden is a symbolic move that represents nothing short of a game changer. First, and most importantly, because Aden was the last Yemeni city free of Houthi control, and its fall would have symbolized the fall of Yemen as a whole. Second, because the liberation of the city sends a clear message to Tehran that its intervention in the region will be met with severe force. Indeed, the rebels are now realizing that they made a big mistake by fighting for the city, as they have suffered significant losses in the fighting, and lost their legitimacy in the eyes of many. Lastly, it reminds the world that the only way to exhibit authority is not through wishful United Nations Security Council decisions but through presence on the ground.
Today, Saudi Arabia proved that it is the ultimate guarantor of security and stability in the Gulf, and cannot be defied by any other power. While this battle is just the first of many, it presents hope for the war-torn country. The battle over Yemen is likely to be long, but the Saudi forces will not let it fall into the hands of Iran.
– Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed
Cairo and Riyadh: We are here, too
Al-Nahar, Lebanon, August 1
It is all too soon to tell what our region will look like following the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran.
However, a quick look at Syria and Iraq is enough to remind us of the extent of destruction and havoc Tehran is capable of wreaking in our region. Eventually, one side or another will have to win this war – and that side will prevail for years to come.
On this basis, Egypt and Saudi Arabia recently announced the signing of the Cairo Declaration, which establishes a joint military force and increases the economic cooperation between the two countries. Riyadh and Cairo are determined to defeat together the Houthis in Yemen, and now, with their newly supplied American F-16 fighter jets, they are surely capable of doing so. They will then turn their attention to Syria and Iraq, in an attempt to weaken Iran and eliminate its influence in the Middle East.
But among this ocean of political turmoil experienced in our region, one country has been left overlooked: ours. Lebanon is falling into a state of despair – with no president for over a year, and growing Iranian involvement in the country’s domestic affairs. Hezbollah has long implicated Beirut in its extraterritorial fighting in Syria. After Syria and Iraq, Lebanon is next to come. In light of the recently signed Saudi-Egyptian declaration, we must remind Cairo and Riyadh that we Lebanese are here, too.
– Elias al-Dairi
The birth of the Arab ‘Center’ Al-Hayat
London, August 2
We are finally receiving news of positive developments in our region, with the signing of the Cairo Declaration, which strengthens the strategic cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. What is really important about the declaration is that it officially announces the formation of an Arab “Center” – one that refuses to remain idle while Tehran and Ankara, in their quest for regional dominance, undermine the region’s autonomy and sovereignty.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi articulated this point very well, saying, “We are in a dire need to come together as Arabs, because the challenges in our region are too many to address alone.” The combined power of Cairo and Riyadh provides just what is needed right now in the Arab world: a strong opposition capable of counterbalancing Islamic State and Iran.
Historically, the Middle East consisted of three main powers: Turkey, Iran, and the Arabs. Israel, no matter how strong or powerful, was never part of this triangle, and never will be. There is no hope of relying on it, as its interests are too different from those of the Arabs.
In other words, to offset the skewed balance of power we are witnessing in the region today, the Arab Center had to rise. This is what is happening in Cairo this week. Egypt and Saudi Arabia represent the two wings of the iconic Arab eagle. Together, they can make that eagle soar and fly. Together, they can put moderate Arabs – like you and me – back on the political map.
– Asaad Haider
Iran chose the wrong path Al-Masry Al-Youm
Egypt, July 31
No one in the Arab world denies the right of the Iranian leadership to pursue its national goals and bring the Iranian nation to great achievements and success.
The problem is that, so far, Tehran attempted to fulfill these goals at the expense of its Arab neighbors.
Tehran had two ways to promote its national ambitions.
The first is through positive interaction with its neighbors in the region and potential allies in the Gulf. This would have entailed mutual cooperation, trust, and promotion of shared interests. The second is through open conflict, marked by an attempt to become a regional hegemon.
Unfortunately, Tehran chose the latter path. It extended its influence into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and Palestine – by funding and training opposition groups that undermine the local regimes. It exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and in Syria, in order to weaken them and increase its own control. It sponsored and supported revolutions from North Africa to the Levant – all in order to see its Arab neighbors fail.
What the Iranians do not seem to realize, however, is that the Arab world may be weakened, but it will not die. Moreover, Iran fuels the same sectarian tensions that exist within it itself, thus making it vulnerable to its own devices. We must not be complacent in our fight against its ploys, but we should also remember: The Iranian national project – as we know it today – carries the seeds of its own destruction. It will not last. – Omar Ali Hassan