Esta semana, en el Observador del Mundo Árabe hablamos de la deficitaria visión americana de la Primavera Árabe; los esfuerzos de la UE para estabilizar la situación en el Sahel tras los recientes acontecimientos en Mali; el exceso de énfasis de los medios de comunicación en el sectarismo y las cuestiones de identidad como elemento debilitador de la cohesión nacional; el líder de los Hermanos Musulmanes, Khairat el-Shater, habla en una entrevista de los problemas económicos en Egipto; escenarios posibles en Siria  a la luz del conflicto en curso; la naturaleza confusa del despertar suni en Bahrein; la discriminación de los refugiados palestinos en el Líbano y su ausencia en el debate político; la tercera ronda de conversaciones entre Irán y el P5 +1.


In The Daily Star Rami G. Khouri discusses relations between theUS and the Arab world and how ‘distorted US views’ characterise the American understanding of the Arab Spring and Arabs:

At the same time, though, Americans – who helped to define the modern revolutionary and democratic era in the 18th century – instinctively tend to support national populist revolutions that create government systems based on the consent of the governed and democratic electoral pluralism. When Arabs carry out these revolutionary and democratic endeavors, however, American society reacts with obvious hesitancy alongside the flashes of enthusiasm.

In The New York Times, Judy Dempsey writes about EU efforts to stabilise the situation in the Sahel, following recent events inMali.

In March, the French foreign minister at the time, Alain Juppé, was warned by Mali’s neighbors that the region risked becoming a “West African Afghanistan” if Ansar Dine gained control of the north. With support from France, the Union has begun to look for ways to react to the events in Mali and prevent contagion

Barah Mikail writes for FRIDE about the exaggerated spectre of sectarianism after the Arab uprisings:

Drawing attention to sectarian tensions runs the risk that such schemes will be appropriated and reinforced by the population in a self-fulfilling prophecy. The same applies to the current over-emphasis of media reporting and analysis on confessional, ethnic and tribal affiliations. Over-emphasising these issues as a major source of regional identity questions the integrity of the nation state, and may potentially weaken national cohesion and favour disintegration


In Al Ahram Amr Adly wonders which ‘Turkey’ the Muslim Brotherhood refers to when hoping to model their politics on the Turkish experience:

How can a popular revolution end up with the same outcome as a military coup? That is the question. In Turkey, the 1980 coup came in the aftermath of a crushing political and economic crisis in the late 1970s managed poorly by party elites. Amid hyperinflation, fuel shortage and economic breakdown combined with widespread violence, the military entered the scene as the saviour of the Turkish republic.

Ugo Tramballi interviews Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater in Cairo, for the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. [In Italian]

The Islamist leader says that he is worried by the fact that 40% of the population is living below the poverty line and 12 million Egyptians are unemployed: “the people are angry and if they were to go back to the streets, the revolution would spiral out of control”. For this reason “first, we need to guarantee security and stability. Without this, the investors will not come back to Egypt. Then, we will promote free market reform. We need to create the right climate to attract foreign, Arab and Egyptian investors”. He concludes that “we are looking to all economic models; however our idea of economy is positioned between the Turkish model and the Malaysian one”


In Majella James Deneslow discusses the potential scenarios forSyria in light of the ongoing conflict:

There has been a proliferation of discussion over the semantics of civil war. The regime describes events as a battle against extremists, while the opposition explain their actions as part of a revolutionary uprising. Civil wars are rarely declared, but rather are entered into as a consequence of the failure of politics.

In The Guardian Mohammad Ataie discusses Iranian efforts to broker a political solution in the country:

In the eyes of the Iranian leadership, civil war and sectarian violence in Syria only benefit Israel. In their view, the ramifications of sectarian violence in Syria extend far beyond Syria’s borders and could entirely shift the anti-Israeli struggle to a regional Sunni-Shia conflict that could isolate Iran, a predominantly Shia and Persian state, that presents itself at the heart of Muslim anti-Israel and anti-US struggle in the region.


Justin Gengler looks at the indistinct nature of the “Sunni awakening” movement inBahrain for The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

More than a year later, these platforms remain ambiguous. Does the post-February explosion of popular political enthusiasm in this only-too-recently apolitical community represent a genuine shift in Bahrain’s political landscape? Or is the mobilization tied somehow to existing Sunni political powers—or even to the state itself?


In The Jordan Times, Ramzy Baroud writes about the discrimination of Palestinian refugees inLebanon and the lack of substance in the political discussion regarding the matter:

Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees continue to be victimised by a bewildering political landscape and unmistakable discrimination by the state under the pretense that Palestinian refugees are temporary “guests” in Lebanon. Now even third generation “guests” of a UN-registered population of nearly 450,000 refugees are denied home ownership, inheritance of land or real estate, and are barred from many professions.


Ruth Hanau SantiniRuth Hanau Santini and Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi write about the third round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 for Aspenia Online [In Italian]:

Given the lack of incentives from the P5+1, particularly with regard to the possibility of lifting or suspending the implementation of upcoming sanctions, Khamenei might be persuaded that the West’s only aim is regime change, and lose interest in negotiations”.


Acerca de El Blog de ECFR Madrid

Oficina en Madrid del Consejo Europeo de Relaciones Exteriores (ECFR en sus siglas en inglés), el primer think tank paneuropeo.


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