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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Excerpts: Syria bans export of food products. U. S. to Egypt:20 more F-16s. Egypt army -police re vote security. Labeling Hizbullah a terrorist organization. EUs Jewish policy. U.S. to declare Syrian jihadists a terrorist group. Jordans threat to deport i

Excerpts: Syria bans export of food products. U. S. to Egypt:20 more F-16s.
Egypt army -police re vote security.Labeling Hizbullah a terrorist
organization. EU's Jewish policy. U.S. to declare Syrian jihadists a
'terrorist' group. Jordan's threat to deport illegal Egyptian workers
December 11, 2012

+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 10 Dec.’12:”Syria Imposes Export Ban on Food

SUBJECT: Syria bans export of food products

TEXT:The government has banned the export of 106 mainly food products in
order to prevent any shortages in the local market and limit inflation

+++SOURCE: Fox News Com via Egypt Daily News 11 Dec.’12” :”US sending 20
more F-16s to Egypt despite turmoil in Egypt” by Maxim Lott
turmoil in Egypt isn't stopping a shipment of 20 F-16 fighter jets,
including this one - already emblazoned stability in Egypt, where a
newly-elected Islamic government teeters over an angry population, isn't
enough to stop the U.S. from sending more than 20 F-16 fighter jets, as part
of a $1 billion foreign aid package.

SUBJECT: U.S. to Egypt: 20 more F-16s

QUOTE: “A Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. and Egypt have an important
alliance that is furthered by the transfer”

FULL TEXT:The first four jets are to be delivered to Egypt beginning Jan.
22, a source at the naval air base in Fort Worth, where the planes have been
undergoing testing, told FoxNews.com. The North African nation already has a
fleet of more than 200 of the planes and the latest shipment merely fulfills
an order placed two years ago. But given the uncertainty in Cairo, some
critics wonder if it is wise to be sending more top gun planes.

“Should an overreaction [by Egypt] spiral into a broader conflict between
Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put U.S. officials in an
embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military
hardware … to both belligerents,” said Malou Innocent, a foreign policy
analyst at the Cato Institute. “Given Washington's fiscal woes, American
taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”

“Given Washington's fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be
Egypt’s major arms supplier.”

- Malou Innocent, the Cato Institute

The U.S. government ordered and paid for the fighter jets for Egypt's
military as part of foreign aid for Egypt back in 2010, when Hosni Mubarak
ruled. The fighter jets were supposed to be delivered in 2013, and delivery
will go ahead as scheduled even though Hosni Mubarak has been removed from
power and replaced by Mohamed Morsi, who led the Muslim Brotherhood before
becoming Egypt's president.

Morsi was democratically elected, but last month attempted to seize
dictatorial powers for himself. After widespread protests and violence in
Egypt's capital of Cairo, Morsi backed off from his power grab. But he is
pushing through a controversial new constitution for Egypt that would more
strictly enforce Islamic Shariah law, and only recently said he reserves the
right to have the military arrest protesters without charges.

"The Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner
for democracy as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab,"
a senior Republican congressional aide told FoxNews.com.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on
Foreign Affairs, recently criticized U.S. military aid to Egypt:

“The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian
government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the
United States,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said.

The $213 million order, which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers and is part of
Egypt's foreign aid package from America, had to be approved by lawmakers in
Washington.While the basic F-16 has been a military workhorse for top air
forces for more than 25 years, the cockpit electronics are constantly
updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor
Lockheed Martin makes.

"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the enduring
partnership and commitment we have made to the government of Egypt," said
John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs. "We remain
committed to providing our customer with a proven, advanced 4th Generation
multirole fighter."

"In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius exceed
that of all potential threat fighter aircraft," the U.S. Air Force
description of the plane reads.

"The F-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver its weapons with superior
accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting
point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance
during non-visual bombing conditions."

A Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. and Egypt have an important alliance that
is furthered by the transfer.

"The U.S.-Egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our
broader strategic partnership for over thirty years," said Lt. Col. Wesley
Miller. "The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the
U.S. commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts.
Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our militaries'
interoperability, and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional
mission sets."

Last month, State Department official Andrew J. Shapiro explained why the
administration plans to continue military aid to Egypt:

“I know that the uncertainty over the Egyptian transition has prompted some
in Congress to propose conditioning our security assistance to Egypt. The
administration believes that putting conditions on our assistance to Egypt
is the wrong approach, and Secretary Clinton has made this point strongly.
Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East and a long-time partner of the
United States. We have continued to rely on Egypt to support and advance
U.S. interests in the region, including peace with Israel, confronting
Iranian ambitions, interdicting smugglers, and supporting Iraq,” he said.

The writer of this piece can be reached at maxim.lott@foxnews.com

Read more:
+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 11 Dec,’12:”Egypt army takes over security ahead of
vote”, Associated Press

SUBJECT: Egypt army-police re vote security

QUOTE:”Egyptian military …assumed joint responsibility with the police for
security . . .until the results of of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum
are announced”

FULL TEXT:CAIRO – The Egyptian military Monday[10 Dec.] assumed joint
responsibility with the police for security and protecting state
institutions until the results of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum are

The army took up the task in line with a decree issued Sunday[9 Dec.] by
President Mohamed Morsi. The Islamist leader Monday[10 Dec.] also suspended
a series of tax hikes announced the previous day.

The presidential edict orders the military and police to jointly maintain
security in the run-up to Saturday’s [15 Dec.]vote on the disputed charter,
which was hurriedly approved last month by a panel dominated by the
president’s Islamist allies despite a boycott of the committee’s liberal,
secular and Christian members.

The decree also grants the military the right to arrest civilians, but
presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said it was nowhere near a declaration of
martial law.

“It is merely a measure to extend legal cover for the armed forces while
they are used to maintain security,” Ali said.

There were no signs of a beefed up military presence outside the
presidential palace, the site of fierce street clashes last week, or
elsewhere in the capital on Monday.

Still, Morsi’s decision to lean on the military to safeguard the vote is
widely seen as evidence of just how jittery the government is about the
referendum on the draft constitution, which has been at the heart of days of
dueling protests by the opposition and Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood backers.
The two sides clashed in Cairo last week, leaving at least six people dead
and hundreds wounded in the worst violence of the crisis.

Both the opposition and Morsi’s supporters have called for mass rallies
Tuesday[11 Dec.].

The opposition has rejected the referendum, but has yet to call for a
boycott or instead a “no” vote at the polls.

“A decision on whether we call for a boycott of the referendum or campaign
for a ‘no’ vote remains under discussion,” Hossam Moanis, a spokesman for
the National Salvation Front grouping opposition parties and groups told
said Monday[[10 Dec,]. “For now, we reject the referendum as part of our
rejection of the draft constitution.”

The military last week sent out several tanks and armored vehicles in the
vicinity of the presidential palace in Cairo following protests there by
tens of thousands of Morsi’s critics. It was the first high-profile
deployment by the military since it handed power in June to Morsi, Egypt’s
first freely elected president.

Morsi Saturday[9 Dec.] rescinded decrees issued Nov. 22 granting him near
absolute powers and placing him above any oversight, including by the
courts. He has, however, insisted that the referendum will go ahead on

Judges have gone on strike to protest Morsi’s perceived “assault.” – AP

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 11 Dec,’12: Report: U.S. Bill to Call for
Europe to Sanction Hizbullah”
SUBJECT: L abeling Hizbullah a terrorist organization

Quote;John Brennan, the White House’s top counterterrorism advisor, said in
Octorber that the actions of European countries against Hizbullah had not
been sufficient and that they needed to brand the party a terrorist group.”

FULL TEXT:U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman is expected to introduce a resolution
that would urge the European Union to label Hizbullah a terrorist
organization, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The draft resolution by the Connecticut Independent calls on European
countries as well as the EU to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist group and
asks the Obama administration to provide information about the party to its
European allies, the newspaper said.

The resolution, which has yet to be formally introduced, asks that sanctions
be leveled against Hizbullah for “providing material support to (President)
Bashar Assad’s ongoing campaign of violent repression against the people of

According to the resolution, the party would “no longer be able to
fundraise, recruit, finance, provide logistical support, train or
propagandize throughout Europe” if the European governments and the EU
designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.

John Brennan, the White House's top counterterrorism adviser, said in
October that the actions of European countries against Hizbullah had not
been sufficient and that they needed to brand the party a terrorist group.

“Failure to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization makes it harder
to defend our countries and protect our citizens,” The Jerusalem Post quoted
him as saying during a speech in Ireland.

“Without international recognition of and action against Hizbullah’s
terrorism, the group will continue to operate with impunity and it will be
able to raise funds that enable its terrorist activity,” he said

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 11 Dec.’12:”Lieberman:EU’s Jewish Policy Like
1930s”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: EU’s Jewish policy

QUOTE:”Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Europe on
Tuesday (11 Dec.] saying its treatment of the Jewish state was comparable to
policies during the Holocaust

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Europe on Tuesday[11
Dec.], saying its treatment of the Jewish state was comparable to policies
during the Holocaust.

Lieberman said Europe had turned a blind eye to a speech by Hamas chief
Khaled Meshaal this week, in which he said the Palestinians would not "cede
an inch" of historic Palestine, which includes much of modern Israel.

"Once again, Europe has ignored calls for Israel's destruction," Lieberman
told Israeli public radio.

"We've already seen this at the end of the 1930s and at the beginning of the
1940s when Europe knew what what was happening in the concentration camps
and didn't act.

"Europe has slapped itself in the face," he added.

"When Jews are sacrificed, you have to ask yourself who will be next. In
Toulouse, the terrorist who killed Jewish children also killed French
soldiers," said Lieberman.

He was referring to Mohamed Merah, who killed three Jewish schoolchildren
and a teacher in the French city of Toulouse in March, days after killing
three French troops.

"Terrorism attacks Jews but it targets all countries and Western values.
Israel is just an hors d'oeuvre," he added.

Lieberman also criticised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to
publicly criticise Meshaal's speech and pursuing reconciliation with Hamas,
the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas calls for Israel's destruction and refused to recognize Israel and
Abu Mazen (Abbas) supports this position while Europe stays quiet," he said.

Lieberman's comments come after Europe condemned Israel for reviving
controversial settlement construction plans in the wake of the successful
Palestinian bid for enhanced United Nations status.

His comments provoked outrage from Yitzhak Herzog, number two in the
opposition Labor party, who accused Lieberman of spreading "fear and anguish
among Israelis by establishing a link between the current situation and the

Herzog said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to revive
the controversial E1 settlement plan "endangers Jerusalem, isolates Israel
and weakens Abu Mazen while strengthening Hamas.”

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 11 Dec.’12: U.S. to Derclare Syrian Jihadists
a ‘Terrorist’ Group”, Agence France Presse”
SUBJECT: U.S. to declare Syrian Jihadists a ‘terrorist’ group

QUOTE:”The U.S. will declare the Al Nusra Front, a jihadist group battling
to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar Assad, a ‘foreign terrorist
organization’ “

FULL TEXT:The United States will declare the Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist
group battling to overthrow Syria's President Bashar Assad, a "foreign
terrorist organization," documents showed Tuesday[[11 Dec..

The State Department has not formally announced the move to blacklist the
group, but posted the declaration in the Federal Register, in a document
that described the Al-Nusra Front as an alias of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The Al-Nusra Front is one of the most effective of several armed groups
fighting to overthrow the Syrian regime, raising concerns in the West that
hardline Islamists are hijacking the 21-month-old revolt.

The group has claimed responsibility for recent suicide bombings that killed
scores of people, and has said it hopes to replace the Assad family's
four-decade-old dictatorship with a strict Islamic state.

The State Department linked the group to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has carried
out scores of massive bombings targeting Shiite civilians and regularly
targeted U.S. forces before their withdrawal a year ago.

"We've had concerns that Al-Nusra is little more than a front for Al-Qaeda
in Iraq, (which) has moved some of its operations into Syria," State
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier on Monday[10 Dec.].

She said the State Department would "have more to say about this" in the
coming days.

Declaring the Al-Nusra Front a terrorist group would entail freezing its
assets and banning Americans from any transactions with the group, which
could complicate efforts to provide aid to Syria's fragmented rebellion.

Earlier on Monday[10 Dec.], jihadists led by the Al-Nusra Front seized a
strategic army base in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

An Agence France Presse correspondent reporting from the scene said many of
the fighters hailed from other Arab countries and Central Asia.

The move to declare the Al-Nusra Front a terror group comes ahead of the
so-called Friends of Syria meeting set to take place in Morocco on
Wednesday[12 Dec.].

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had planned to attend the meeting
but canceled her trip on Monday[10 Dec.] due to illness. Deputy Secretary of
State William Burns was to attend in her place.

Arab and Western states backing the revolt were to discuss the political
transition in the event of Assad's fall, and mobilizing vital humanitarian
aid as winter sets in.

Since the last meeting, in Paris in July, the number of people killed has
risen from 16,000 to more than 42,000, according to the Observatory.

The United States has repeatedly called on Assad to step aside but says it
has not provided arms to the rebels for fear they could end up in the hands
of radical groups

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 11 Dec.’12:”King receives phone call from Morsi”

SUBJECT:Jordan’s threat to deport illegal Egyptian workers

QUOTE:”there are around half a million Egyptians working. . .only 176,000
hold valid work permits”

FULL TEXT:AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday received a phone call
from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

A Royal Court statement said the two leaders “discussed developments in the
Middle East and developments in bilateral relations in various sectors”.

The phone conversation came as Egyptian labour ministry issued a statement
regarding a Jordanian decision to deport thousands of illegal Egyptians, and
other workers.

Egypt’s labour minister, Ahmad Azhari, was quoted in the Egyptian media as
saying that President Morsi would intervene in the issue.

According to official estimates, there are around half-a-million Egyptians
working in several sectors, mainly construction, hospitality and
agriculture. Of these, only 176,000 hold valid work permits

Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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