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Friday, November 2, 2012
Excerpts: Obama re Cairo speech promises. U.S./Egypt: no friendships without bumps. Iran claims images of Israel via Hizbullah drone. French President, Israeli PM meet re Iran November 02, 2012

Excerpts: Obama re Cairo speech promises. U.S./Egypt:"no friendships
without bumps. Iran claims images of Israel via Hizbullah drone. French
President, Israeli PM meet re Iran November 02, 2012

+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 2 Nov.’12:”Obama’s unfulfilled promises disappoints
many in Mideast”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Obama re Cairo speech promises-
QUOTE:”Obama’s ( Muslim Mideast) critics say he has not honored his pledges”
EXCERPTS:CAIRO — Three years after he promised a rapt Cairo audience a shift
in his country’s unpopular Middle East policy, US President Barack Obama
goes to the polls leaving disappointment in a region swept by the Arab

Obama’s critics say he has not honored his pledges, such as settling the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or improving relations with Muslim countries.
. . .
Grievances against the US have changed little since Obama pledged, in a
speech delivered at Cairo University on June 4, 2009, “to seek a new
beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.”
. . .

In Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, suspected militants attacked the US
consulate killing Ambassador Chris Steven on Sept. 11, exactly 11 years
after militants from US allies destroyed the World Trade Center.

The Benghazi attack became a heated campaign issue between Obama and his
rival Mitt Romney, as did Iran’s nuclear program, another major security
concern in the region.

. . .Despite Obama’s stance on some of the Arab Spring uprisings, including
backing a NATO-led air blockade that helped Libya’s rebels topple Gaddafi,
the goodwill he gained is giving way to old mistrust, an analyst said.

“It’s probably safe to extrapolate that US intervention in Libya didn’t have
a lasting effect on the way people in the region view the United States,”
said Elijah Zarwan, a Cairo-based analyst with the European Council on
Foreign Relations.
. . .
“For all the good intentions, the result was deplorable,” said the diplomat,
who requested anonymity because he still holds a sensitive position. — AFP

+++SOURCE: Aswat Masriya via Egypt Daily News 2 Nov.’12:”US-Egypt relations
strong but ’no friendship without bumps’ : Patterson, U.S. Ambassador to

SUBJECT U.S./Egypt:”no friendships without bumps”

QUOTE: U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Paterson affirmed that the relationship
between Egypt and America remains strong but ‘that no friendship persists
without bumps along the road’ “

The US ambassador to Egypt Anne Paterson affirmed that the relationship
between Egypt and America remains strong but that "no friendship persists
without bumps along the road," in an interview with pan-Arab daily Asharq
Al-Awsat, Thursday.Patterson commented that the ongoing NGO trial, in which
a number of American civil society workers have been accused, came as a
"shock" to Washington.

Forty-three Egyptian and foreign employees from five international NGOs are
currently facing jail sentences for being part of unregistered organisations
and hence receiving illegal funding. Only one American, Robert Becker, who
decided to stay in Egypt, is actually in the dock, the others are being
tried in absentia.

"The American NGOs functioning in Egypt were carrying out their work in
complete transparency and goodwill in an effort to support and develop
Egyptian civil society," Patterson added. The move to raise a lawsuit
against them, she noted, put Egypt's image abroad in a negative light.

Patterson, however, stressed that despite the bumps "every now and then",
US-Egypt relations will continue to flourish.
She added this will remain the case regardless of the results of the US
elections next week, which will see President Barack Obama pitted against
Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Commenting on the Egyptian presidential elections, the US Ambassador denied
that America had pushed for their preferred candidate the Muslim
Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, who ran against Mubarak-era prime minister
Ahmed Shafiq.
"Our main objective was to support a truly democratic process that truly
represents the

Egyptian people's will, something that was clearly reflected through the
ballots," she added.

Patterson also spoke about the case of the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel-Rahman:
a thorny issue for the two nations.

Abdel-Rahman is currently serving a decade-old sentence in the US for his
"involvement" in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing and for helping plan
the 9/11 attacks on the States from inside prison.

In response to several Egyptians' demands for his release and an ongoing
year-long protest outside the US embassy in downtown Cairo, Patterson stated
he is currently receiving humane treatment in detention.

She further added that he has been allowed to consult with his lawyer, call
his family members and to carry out his prayers

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 1 Nov. “112:”Iran Insists it Obtained Images
of Israel from Hizbullah Drone”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Iran claims images of Israel via Hizbullah drone
[IMRA: To date no image released....]

QUOTE:”Hizbullah leader said his movement had sent the drone saying ‘the
aircraft was Iranian built and assembled n Lebanon ‘ ”

FULL TEXT:Iran insisted on Wednesday[31 Oct.] that it had obtained images of
sensitive areas of Israel from a Hizbullah drone before it was shot down,
despite the Jewish state questioning if the aircraft carried a camera.

"The fact that we have obtained the images of many areas that are important
for us is the proof that we have conducted a successful mission,"
Revolutionary Guards' spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif told the
ISNA news agency.

"They (Israelis) must know that we possess the information we need on
necessary areas in case a particular situation" arises, Sharif said,
indicating that they could be potential targets for Iranian retaliation in
the event of an Israeli attack on Tehran's nuclear sites.

An Iranian official had said earlier that Tehran was in possession of
pictures taken by the Hizbullah drone, which flew over Israel in early

On Monday[29 Oct]

QUOTE: Hizbullah, a senior officer in Israel's northern command dismissed
the Iranian claim.

"I don't think there was a camera," he said, although he admitted the
incident was "still being investigated."

On October 6, Israel's air force shot down the unarmed drone over the Negev
desert after it entered the country's airspace from the Mediterranean Sea.

At the time, the Israeli military dismissed the idea that the drone could
have been launched from Gaza, and said it was examining the possibility it
may have been sent by Hizbullah.

Several days later, Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his
movement had sent the drone, saying the aircraft was "Iranian-built and
assembled in Lebanon.""It overflew sensitive and important installations for
dozens of kilometres until the enemy spotted it near (the nuclear site)
Dimona," he said, without identifying the installations.

SourceAgence France Presse

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 1 Nov.’12:”Hollande issues warning to Iran after
meeting Israeli P<”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: French president and Israeli PM meet re Iran
QUOTE:”French President Hollande said he wanted ‘concrete acts’from Iran to
prove it was not pursuing nuclear arms
PARIS — French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday[31 Oct.]French
President Hollande said he wanted “concrete acts” from Iran to prove it was
not pursuing nuclear arms, after his first direct meeting with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Addressing a press conference with Netanyahu, whose aim during the two-day
visit is to press for more pressure on Tehran, Hollande warned that Paris
would back “other sanctions” if Tehran failed to convince on its contested
nuclear programme.

“This is a threat which cannot be accepted by France,” Hollande said.

“We have voted for many sanctions and are ready to vote others as long as
necessary,” the French leader said, underscoring that he wanted “proof that
Iran has abandoned this drive”.

Iran denies Israeli and Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is a
front for a drive for a weapons capability.

Netanyahu hailed the “extremely important position” taken by Hollande.

Netanyahu has warned that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat to
Israel and has repeatedly refused to rule out military action, fuelling
speculation that an attack was imminent.

But he then appeared to pull back, pushing the deadline until spring or even
summer 2013, ostensibly to allow time for international sanctions to work.

The pugnacious Israeli leader said in an interview Wednesday[31 Oct.] that
the Arab world would be relieved if Israel struck at Iranian nuclear

He said in case of an attack, “five minutes later, contrary to what sceptics
think, I believe there will be a great feeling of relief throughout the

“Iran is not popular in the Arab world, far from it,” he said in comments
reported in French in France’s Paris-Match weekly.

“And some neighbouring regimes and their citizens have well understood that
a nuclear-armed Iran is a danger for them, not only for Israel,” he said,
without mentioning specific nations.

Hollande, meanwhile, urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks
without any conditions, while criticising continued Israeli occupation.

“Only negotiations can lead to a definitive solution,” he said. “These
negotiations are hoped for and awaited.”

“France wants the resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians
without conditions and with the same goal — one we have been pusuing for
years, even decades, two state, a state of Israel where security if
guaranteed and a Palestinian state which must be allowed to live,” he said.

Hollande said the two countries had “divergences on occupation, which we
want to see halted”.

Direct peace talks have been on hold for more than two years, with
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refusing to negotiate as long as Israel
continues to build and approve new Jewish settlements.

Netanyahu is hoping during the two-day trip “to build a good working
relationship with the French leader”, a source close to the Israeli leader
told AFP.

Since taking office five months ago, Hollande has only spoken to Netanyahu
by telephone but met Abbas twice — both times in Paris.

Netanyahu enjoyed close ties with Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy who
cast himself as a “friend of Israel” but there was a chill after Sarkozy
reportedly called him a “liar” in November last year during a private
conversation with US President Barack Obama.

On Thursday[1 Nov.], Netanyahu is to travel to Toulouse with Hollande to
attend a memorial ceremony for three children and a French-Israeli teacher
at a Jewish school who were shot dead by an Islamist gunman who also killed
soldiers of North African origin.

The Israeli prime minister also evoked rising “anti-Semitism”, which he said
was a “threat for all the European people”.

But Hollande pledged to “eradicate” attacks on Jews in France, saying:
“Whenever a citizen’s security is challenged just because he is Jewish — it’s
the Republic which is attacked.”

The two leaders then launched into a light-hearted exchange with Netanyahu
urging French Jews to settle in Israel and Hollande responding that their
place was really at home.

France is home to between 350,000 and 500,000 Jews, according to various
estimates. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, more than 90,000 French
Jews have settled there.

Demonstrations against Netanyahu’s visit are planned in several French

Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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