Posted 13.04.2012 14:21:37 UTC
Updated 15.04.2012 09:50:59 UTC
Political tensions in Iraq that hosted an Arab League meeting reached a climax and Syria that accepted U.N.'s peace plan continues to create problems although the deadline given has expired. Egypt is another country where the atmosphere is tense ahead of approaching presidential elections.
It has been 9 years since Saddam Husseyin was toppled in Iraq and the U.S. occupation started. State authority that collapsed after the occupation has not been restored. What's worse is that although a coalition government comprising all parties in Iraq has been established, Prime Minister Nuri Nouri al-Maliki is accused of being authoritarian. Al Iraqiya leader Iyad Allawi who could not get the share he wanted in the government although he emerged victorious in the election, tries to convince other partners to overthrow Maliki. Iraqi Kurds oppose Maliki too.
Political discussions between the capital Baghdad and the regional government in the North reached a climax after the administration in the North halted drilling oil on the grounds that it could not pay companies drilling oil in lands under its own control. The President of the regional administration Mesut Barzani strongly criticized Maliki during his U.S. visit last week. Accusing Maliki of being authoritarian, Barzani implicitly listed once again his threats that they would declare independence if the central government continued its current attitude. Maliki is not likely to enter into a heated discussion with Barzani until he wards off Allawi's maneuver to overthrow the government but Baghdad has strong trumps that it can use against the regional administration in the North.
The second significant development that took place in Iraq last week was the establishment of the 7th government in the regional administration in the north. The new government which is the product of cooperation between the two most powerful parties in the region, KDP and KYB, is not recognized by opposition parties. Therefore, opposition parties did not take part in a vote of confidence in parliament. It wouldn't be wrong to say that hard times await the government led by deputy leader of KDP and former Prime Minister Nacırvan Barzani.
The deadline given to the Syrian administration as part of Annan's peace plan expired on April 10. Although Bashar Assad administration accepted the plan at first, it demanded written guarantees that the opposition would lay down arms first. This demand is nothing but raising difficulties during the process. Many countries doubted Damascus' approach. Assessment that the Damascus administration that has not kept its promises in the past, was just trying to gain time proved accurate. Assad administration that has made moves so far thanks to Russia and China's support is going to have a hard time. Scenarios on setting up a safe zone in Syrian lands began to be discussed after the deadline expired. New developments are going to take place in Syria in the forthcoming days.
Heated discussions are taking place between the sides ahead of approaching presidential elections in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi Nour party have two candidates. Muslim Brotherhood candidate is Hayrat al Shatır and Nour party candidate is Hazım Salah Abu Ismail. However Abu Ismail’s candidacy might not be accepted due to claims that his mother is a U.S. citizen. Former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa is one of the most important candidates. Amr Moussa who has the support of liberal circles, led polls until al Shatır stood for but support for him lessened in the past few days. Egypt's former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman's candidacy resulted in a crisis in the tense race. Muslim Brotherhood alleged that Suleiman's candidacy is an insult to the election process and declared that the revolution process in Egypt would start once again in the event of Suleiman's winning the election. New developments are likely to take place in Egypt ahead of the election.