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16-30 April 2012           9 Jamadiul Awwal – 9 Jamadiul Akhar 1433 Hijri

Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East. The selection of an item does not mean the endorsement or concurrence with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND

Roznama Sahafat (Journalism Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 16 April 2012, Monday
1. Saudi Arabia and the US

It is a well-known fact that Saudi Arabia is the biggest ally of the US in the Arab world. It acts as the protector of American interest in the region. It remains more concerned about American interests and the US in turn cares more about the Israeli security and existence. Moreover, Saudi Arabia further wants to strengthen its relations with the US. The recent visit of Saudi Defence Minister Prince Salman to the US should be seen in this context. According to the statement issued by the White House, Prince Salman during his meeting with the American President Barak Obama emphasized on the need to further improve the relations between the two countries. The Saudi embassy in Washington has termed the dialogue between the two leaders as constructive. It should be noted that the US and Saudi Arabia are partners in the ‘war on terror’ in the region but Saudi Arabia has never put pressure on the US to stop Israeli aggression on the Palestinians because it does not want to antagonize the US. It supports the US in order to secure the monarchy. Last year the US and Saudi Arabia signed a defence deal whereby it would receive 15 fighter planes from the US. Saudi Arabia has also participated in defence exercises conducted in the US. It is also to be noted that the visit has come at a time when the US is trying to isolate Iran on the issue of its nuclear programme. It has termed the Iranian nuclear programme as a threat to world security. The US wants Saudi Arabia to play an active part in its plans against Iran which it thinks can be decisive.

According to Anthony Cordesman, Saudi Arabia has a very active security force and the reform measures taken by Saudi Arabia has helped stabilize the country. Saudi Arabia, he says, is a very secure country. The mutual co-operation between the US and Saudi Arabia are not limited to politics and security but has several dimensions including international trade and energy supply. Saudi Arabia which claims to be an Islamic country is also a partner in American policies. As far as terrorism is concerned the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia term those who oppose them as terrorists. The Israeli action against Palestine is not terrorism for Saudi Arabia just as it isn't for the US.

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 25 April 2012, Wednesday
2. The Failure of Peace Mission in Syria

From the Arab League to the United Nations and from Europe to the United States, everyone has some solution to bring about peace in Syria but there are hardly any takers inside the country itself. The failure of such peace plans are being discussed before their implementation and the Syrian regime alone cannot be made responsible for it. If it is not serious about peace then the US and Europe also have ulterior motives while the UN and Arab League do not have any concrete plans as well. That is why peace is still elusive one year after the start of protests. Thousands of people have been killed and many more have been forced to flee and if the situation does not improve more people will be killed.

The international community has not helped to improve the situation. Syria now stands at a point where no solution seems possible. It cannot be ruled out that external intervention has worsened the situation. The Peace Mission led by UN special representative Kofi Annan has not proposed anything new and continues with the earlier plan forwarded by the Arab League. It is very clear that the result cannot be different if the name and faces of the mediator and plan are changed and threats will not improve the situation. The Arab League and Western countries have announced that they will further impose sanctions on Syria if Kofi Annan’s mission fails. Considering the Arab League mission had failed, what can one expect from a similar Annan mission. The same formula is being applied again to achieve peace in Syria, which has already failed.

Inside Syria, neither the revolutionary movement seems to be dying nor the crackdown by the government and the external threat continues to loom. The situation has become grave and has refused to get resolved. It would be naive to expect any solution in such a scenario. The seriousness of efforts in resolving the issue is of utmost importance and if the Western countries want to resolve the issue then they should avoid the use of threatening and intimidating language. The issue in Syria would have been resolved if serious efforts had been made in the beginning and some solution like in Egypt and Tunisia or Yemen could have been arrived at. There is no point in imposing a solution from the outside, and serious efforts would be effective only if it worked out without threats and sanctions.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy