Thursday, August 16, 2012

Egypt Grows Tighter With Tunisia

"New leaders of Egypt, Tunisia hold meeting; Pledge to rebuild long-tense ties" by Aya Batrawy  |  Associated Press, July 14, 2012

CAIRO — The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia pledged Friday to open a new chapter in relations following uprisings that overthrew longtime rulers, replacing them with a Muslim Brotherhood figure and an activist who had been exiled.

After meeting with Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki told reporters in a joint press conference that the two nations will rebuild ties based on shared experiences after what he described as decades of tense relations.

“I will not say we are starting from scratch, but one thing for sure is that we are moving ahead with relations that for years and years were stagnant and routine without friendliness or warmth,” Marzouki said.

“A new era of relations has begun between the two nations,” echoed Morsi.

Marzouki was exiled for his political activism, and Morsi was jailed for his activities with the Brotherhood under the two nations’ old regimes. When Tunisians overthrew Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last year, it helped inspire Egypt’s revolt against longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. Both countries saw Islamists rise to power in free elections after.

Marzouki said the two leaders specifically discussed the Syrian uprising and their support for the Syrian people, but both oppose foreign military intervention as a means to ending the bloodshed that activists say has killed about 17,000 Syrians.

Meanwhile, a few thousand Egyptians rallied in Cairo on Friday in support of Morsi’s decision to reconvene the Islamist-dominated Parliament despite a military-backed court ruling that dissolved the body.

The demonstration, a continuation of smaller open sit-ins in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other cities, was organized by his former Brotherhood party, a number of ultraconservative Islamist groups, and the liberal activist April 6 movement. Leading liberal parties and the country’s main Salafi Nour Party stayed away from the rally....


Look who else dropped in:

"US, Tunisia to coordinate counterterrorism efforts" Associated Press, July 31, 2012

TUNIS — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday that Washington plans to promote closer cooperation on counterterrorism with Tunisia’s new Islamist leaders, amid concerns about Al Qaeda’s growing influence in North Africa.  

Now I gotta go take a pooh-pooh because of that word.

Panetta met with the officials as part of his five-day tour of the Middle East and North Africa. He held talks with President Moncef Marzouki and Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on increasing US military support in the region.  

I'd actually rather not expand the empire over the lie when we are told we must choke down austerity hear at home. 

Related: Africa Chooses China

Yeah, well I can see why.

Panetta’s press secretary, George Little, said the United States is concerned about the spread of Al Qaeda’s influence in North Africa but believes that the threat in Tunisia is not as great as elsewhere.

The Pentagon chief discussed providing more US assistance in securing Tunisia’s border with Libya and in Tunisian maritime security, Little said. He said specifics were not discussed.  

Why don't you scroll through Libya to see what the fruits of democracy and U.S. military aid hath brung. 

Panetta also visited the North Africa American Military Cemetery in Tunis, where 2,841 US servicemen killed in the North Africa campaign of World War II are buried.

Look, it's not like the sacrifices should not be honored; however, I'm just tired of the never-ending worship upon the altar of militarism when all wars are based on lies. 

Related: “War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

We are so far away from his vision, and we were warned so long ago.

(Blog editor needed to pause to wipe his eyes he is so moved by those speeches)

Afterward, Panetta headed to Egypt for talks with its new president, Mohammed Morsi, and an Egyptian military leader, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Tunisia was the launching pad for the wave of revolt that swept through the Arab world in 2011.