Friday, January 28, 2011

Canada: Obama walks a difficult line in Egyptian crisis

The Vancouver Sun

U.S. remains watchful during Egyptian unrest

Obama walks a fine line between supporting democratic reform in Middle East and propping up longtime Arab ally. Unrest after the people's revolution in Tunisia is spreading like wildfire in the Arab world, with major protests in at least four countries. Today, opponents of the Egyptian government have called for mass demonstrations after Friday prayers.

By Stephen Collinson, Agence France-Presse

"Egypt's political unrest leaves Washington torn between freedom-seeking protesters and an authoritarian government that has been a vital ally -- a dilemma with deep implications for its troubled Middle East policy.

""Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been a fulcrum of U.S. regional strategy for decades, a guarantor of his nation's peace with U.S. ally Israel and a central player in successive and frustrated American peace initiatives.

But with his 30-year rule seemingly under threat, amid talk of a possible "Arab spring" of revolt against authoritarian rulers, U.S. policy-makers must pick their way through a political minefield."

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