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After 12 years, is another protest Tahrir possible in Egypt?



Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule in Egypt came to an end with the popular movement that finalized on January 25th 2011. After the initial wave of protests, which lasted for 18 days, Mubarak was compelled to resign on February 11th.

In 2013, a new round of actions and military intervention brought an end to Mohammed Morsi’s administration, which had been elected to power after Hosni Mubarak. The leader of the military coup during the polls in May 2014, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, won the presidency with 90 percent of the vote while just 45 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

The “crazy projects” of the Sisi administration, such the construction of a new headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo, had a major impact on the nation’s economy in the past ten years, when the Egyptian army was swiftly modernized and significant resources were allocated to this sector.

The Russian-Ukrainian war, the pandemic, and other health concerns caught the Egyptian economy off unprepared. The foreign capital that Russian and Ukrainian tourists had brought to Egypt was lost. Foreign investors withdrew about $25 billion in fresh capital from the Egyptian market in less than a year. Egypt’s currency, the lira, dropped by 50% from the previous year as it quickly lost value against the US dollar.

Due to the rapid currency increase, import prices increased. Accessing basic consumer goods has been more difficult for the underprivileged. Meat and eggs are now often regarded as high-end goods. The middle class’s standard of living has declined.

In Egypt, a nation of 104 million people where 70% of the populace receives bread subsidies, the grain crisis has also turned into a serious national security concern.

Egypt called the IMF for the fourth time in the previous six years due to these challenging circumstances. The Sisi administration, which took $3 billion, was forced to agree to the IMF’s stringent requirements.

The IMF’s requirements include privatization, a cessation of currency manipulation, and limitations on the military’s influence over the economy. The swift fall of the lira was the first sign that letting exchange rates float

What kind of future has in wait for Egypt, the center of the Arab world, where skyscrapers are rising on one side but poverty is spreading on the other?

Will the deteriorating economic situation lead to a new Tahrir uprising?

How eager are Egyptians to demand their rights in the squares in light of the bitter experience of the last 10 years, when social upheavals quickly turned into civil wars?

It appears that the huge winds of revolution have temporarily turned to a disappointment. However, it is absolutely impossible to lose belief in the Nile River’s never-ending flow.

12 years had passed since December 25th 2011, when tens of thousands of people started to swarm the Tahrir Square,. We questioned Dalia Ziada, the director of the Center for Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Studies, on the state of Egypt’s economy and the broken ties between Egypt and Turkey.

  • “Things are difficult, but we are in control of it and we will be able to overcome it,” said President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Military Academy. As I understand President Sisi is trying to give message to Egyptian to be relax and calm So, what kind of economic challenges Egypt is currently facing. During the past few months, the dollar has been in rise. What is the current pressing economic issue, and what steps will Cairo take to overcome it?

It is a very good question to start the conversation with, because this is what is preoccupying the minds of everyone right now either in Egypt or worldwide but specifically in Egypt. Because this time, unlike before, the crisis is too complicated in many ways because it is in a sense a combined crisis. It is not new, it is not made by the Covid or by the Russia-Ukraine War but these recent global events have enhanced the crisis that has been in place since the 1960s or even 1950s in Egypt.

I call it the chronic crisis of the Egyptian economy. So, right now we are facing this challenge, which we are at a crossroads. Perhaps the economic plan or macroeconomic policy at that time did not start on the right foot. They first started as a communist republic and started to apply socialist policies. And then years later they said let’s have try on liberal market policies. And then all this has changed and we ended up with a very distorted macroeconomic system that we had to deal with throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In addition, of course to a long heritage of administrative and financial corruption. All this led to the image of the distorted economy or macroeconomic systems that we are having in Egypt today. So, the two crises that came each other, the Covid- and then the Russian Ukraine War, have brought Egypt at a crossroads. So now you have either to deal with this chronic crisis and solve it for good and start a whole new macroeconomic system or you just turn a blind eye to what’s going on and keep going on like this. And sooner or later this will lead to the collapse of the macroeconomic system and the entire political stability that we have been trying to keep for a while.

In the past week we have seen several statements by the senior state officials starting from the President, the Prime Minister, assuring the public that everything is fine while trying to keep it under control but unfortunately this is not translated on the ground. When you tell this to me as a citizen, I get happy and excited, but when I go out to the street to buy food or do any other activity that I used to do as a middle-class person, it has simply become too difficult. For example, in Türkiye and in many other countries when there is a such case of inflation, they are always accompanied by raises in salaries and the minimum wage, we do not have this here in Egypt because the country is already in deep debt and they cannot even afford an increase in salaries. On the contrary they are talking about removing subsidies on essential household commodities goods like the bread, cooking oil and energy which also will end up in more inflation. There is zero control over the market.

  • What is the army’s role in economy? It is being criticized by the West.

This military-owned enterprises issue is somehow complicated for someone who does not understand how things are working in Egypt. The military is I would call, the backbone of the Egyptian State both politically and economically. In other words, the civilian government here in Egypt can’t do without the military being involved, as a safety net or as an insurance I would say in both politics and economy. Of course, like from a democratic point of view this is completely wrong and it should change one day if we really want Egypt to become a democratic country. But are we ready for this now? Unfortunately, no. The economic reform that the IMF is currently requesting, are very tough on the Egyptian market and for the merchants and the manufacturers, as much as they are on the Egyptian people itself. And the only entity in the country that have an autonomous economic system of its own and that is not affected by what is happening in the market is the military. And they have enterprises that can fill the gap between what the civilian government can offer and what the people need. Because this gap is believe me, really big. Only entity in Egypt right now that can fill in this gap, is the military. So, in the long run, yes the military should get completely out of the market and allow private investors to do their work and for the market to be liberated because this is essential if we really want to develop the Egyptian economy and the Egyptian political life in general. But right now, it would be a very tough decision with all the mess that we are having in especially in the economic arena.

  • If I remember it correctly Egypt took IMF loan four times … Well, didn’t IMF’s credit programs work in Egypt?

Since the 1960s we have been receiving loans from the IMF. It is not only the recent ones but in these ones are very different. I would speak specifically and make a very quick comparison between the current loan that is three billion dollars over 48 months. And the previous loans which comprised of about twenty billion dollars, came in three parts like first twelve billion dollars, and then two emergency loans of the IMF that are I think something around five and two billion dollars, totaling in twenty billion dollars in these past six years. And why is these six years in particular being important because they are the years when we have this new regime in Egypt of President Al-Sisi. Before that it was a different state and a completely different scenario in politics and macroeconomics. The first loan which was given to us in 2016, was based on some policies that I think worked very much in the favor of the Egyptian people. That is not only serving to rescue the state from collapse. But they included some policies, which I think is because of Christine Lagarde’s activist spirit, which was towards development and socio-economic wellbeing, all tied together. So, this loan helped Egypt to improve its infrastructure in a very positive way, and provided a good support to the poor and social development in general in Egypt. For example, these programs were made for the Haya Karima, which means “Dignified Life”, for the people who cannot afford a living and also for urban redevelopment for the people who are living in slums.

So, all these definitely had a good effect in improving the standard of living in Egypt, and also for attracting foreign investors until the start of the Russia-Ukraine War. Although it is happening in a very distant geography it affected us dramatically, because Egypt relays on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in two basic sectors, the food sector and the tourism sector. So, the shockwave of the Russia Ukraine war on Egypt was much bigger than it was on any other country I assume, so we ended up having falling again into this loop of crises. So now we are asking for a new loan, but this new loan is very strict in applying the policies that seek structural reform including of course the military withdrawal from the market and slowing down the national projects which was made by the former loans, which may actually risk the gains that we have got from the 2016 loan. This is what is making the most Egyptians pessimistic I would say, about the new loan.

  • Economic issues may be caused by the Coronavirus era or the conflict in Eastern Europe, and the devastation it caused on a worldwide scale is evident. Particularly in Europe, one might observe several protests against the government in France or England. I’m not sure how these public protests will affect or will change politics in Europe, but I wonder if social movements could start in the Middle East again, especially in Egypt after the so called Arab Spring. Is there any possibility in Cairo or the other capitals in the Middle East?

Why people came out against Mubarak at that time, was partly due to similar policies like privatization, selling state-owned assets to foreign investors etc. So, of course this question came to the minds of many observers and analysts that the Egyptians will go out against Al-Sisi to protest his policies and actually I am talking to from Cairo right now. and from what I am seeing is that people throughout the past 10 years, is that we have gone through a lot including political transitions, the lack of security and stability at certain times, and now with the economic crisis, I think the people are very much in a case of fatigue that may not be able take such an action. They are also having a general mindset in the street is that “Yes we know we are suffering, and it is not good” and many people completely disagree with the policies of the government, especially in the economic part of the equation. But they are making this compromise “if we go to the street now and make a protest this will lead to chaos again and the chaos will lead to more economic trouble and more economic complications and will take another 10 years to get over these complications”. So, they are waiting to see what the government can really do with this crisis. I do not think they may come out anytime soon. If we also look in the past protesters that happened over the past 10 years since the Arab Spring up till now it is not the poor. It is always the middle class. It is the middle class, the educated the employees, the bureaucrats that are the ones who come out to the streets and make real protests that make real changes.

  • I would like to ask to you the current feelings of the middle class? After 10 years what is their mood?

Now the middle class is very depressed in many ways. One of them of course is economic as we are speaking about the economic part here. But also, another part is political because we had these high hopes about a more democratic country, more freedoms, more human rights or better performance by the government on human rights. Unfortunately, today we are still struggling with the same issues we have been struggling with 10 years ago, regarding freedom of speech, human rights democratization. And even when changes happen and things open up a little bit, they get closed again by economic crises or security issues like fighting against terrorism etc. So, the depression is coming from the fact that we fear that these dreams will be forgotten, in the process of doing economic reform, or facing security challenges. But hopefully people will keep pressing in a positive way not in a destructive way to make this happen in the future. But this all sticks us again to the point that you can advocate for you know democracy human rights in a country that is stable with a good economy. But usually when these things are not well, the security is not good enough and economy is not good enough. As human rights activists or civil rights activists we do not get the popular support needed to help our work. So, this is basically the main challenge here.

  • There is rapprochement process between the Arab nations between Türkiye and Arab World and also we can add Iran to this list. So, how do you evaluate this process? What king obstacles we have between Ankara and Cairo?

Great question actually. Let me start by saying that I am very happy with the new foreign policies of president Erdogan of Türkiye has been adopting in the past two years, which is mainly about approaching Arab countries of all over the Arab geography, and also communicating on a basis of fixing ties regardless of the ideological differences, either on the Mediterranean or in the Middle East and Türkiye, since I consider Türkiye a part of the Middle East of course. The good thing here is that most of the Arabs do not look at Türkiye in the same negative light that they look at Iran for example. For most Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, which is the biggest Gulf country and one of the main leaders in the region right, now Iran is still seen as an enemy. But while it is not that much in countries in North Africa, but Türkiye for everyone has always been a friend. Of course before past seven or eight years of diplomatic and media rivalries, but before that Türkiye has always been integral to this region and a very important partner and an important regional player in the region. For Egypt and Türkiye in particular, the relationship is even more critical than any other country. That is not only because of the geographic proximity between the two countries, which allows lots of opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries given the fact that Egypt is literally at the gates of Africa, and Türkiye is literally at the gates of Europe, but we can do a lot of things together. Again unfortunately because of political differences in the past eight or nine years, all this potential was hindered for no good reason. We could have been able to communicate and cooperate for so long. But also there is this religious and historical factors. There is a lot of cultural similarities between Türkiye and Egypt. Of course, this applies to most of the countries in North Africa are heavily influenced by the Turkish culture. And this is making or creating a space for understanding that you would not see in other countries. So despite of course the political tensions that happened in the last decade or so between the two governments, still the people have a lot in very much in communication and in understanding with each other for example between Türkiye and its neighbors in in Syria or Iraq etc. Although they are closer like right on your border but if you look at the North Africa side, the understanding and communication was much better. After the historic handshake between the two Presidents Al-Sisi and Erdogan, actually hopes were very high here in Egypt as well that maybe finally we have come to the point of proper communication and things show are moving in the right direction. But sadly, none of this is happening. It has been two months now and there is no follow-up from the intelligence bureaus in both countries or even a follow-up by the Foreign Ministries in both countries. Things are still same.

  • The process has frozen. What is the expectations of Cairo from Ankara?

I think the main reason why these talks are frozen, is because there are three main files that are still open and it is somehow very difficult for both countries to come to a compromise. Number one is Libya of course. Libya is the country that shares the longest border with Egypt. For Egypt, here the state considers Libya national strategic depth. So any actions that happens there directly affects us. Now I can see more tolerance to the fact that Türkiye have its troops in Libya, and is trying to make agreements with Libya. There is some kind of more tolerance here than it was in 2020 when there was these clashes and Egypt was very angry for the presence of the Turkish troops are there. But now there is this greater tolerance because the state of Egypt started to understand that Türkiye is not a threat to our national security, which I think is very important point that Türkiye was able to communicate clearly to the Egyptian officials here.

On the other hand, Türkiye and Egypt still support two different sides in the Libyan conflict. And Egypt cannot afford not to support the Eastern factions, because they are controlling Egypt’s Western border and they are preventing the smuggling of weapons into Egyptian Western desert, or preventing terrorism from leaking into Egypt. So, they cannot afford actually losing them at the same time Türkiye is believing that Tripoli is the legitimate government and they continue to support it because it is recognized by the UN, and also Türkiye has geo-economic or geopolitical interests over the Tripoli based government, so it makes sense for them to support it. With all these complications I think like to get to a compromise on the Libya issue, needs lots of talks between two sides.

“Egypt involved in Türkiye – Greece conflict”

Another critical issue of course is the Eastern Mediterranean. As we have seen in the past three years Egypt in particular got heavily involved in the conflict between Greece and Türkiye. Since the time of Mubarak we were always avoiding in intervening in this conflict. Even in 2005 when Greece started to ask Egypt to sign agreements or delimitation, Egypt has always used to say “No go first solve your problem with Türkiye, and then come back to us and then we can talk”. This is out of respect to Türkiye’s borders or out of respect to Türkiye’s rights in the Mediterranean. But unfortunately amidst the political tensions that happened in the past seven or eight years, has made it easier for Greece to request to make such requests to Cairo, and made it even more possible for Cairo to respond positively to these requests and we ended up having this agreement with Greece and the Greek Cyprus in in 2020, followed by the formation of the Eastern Mediterranean gas Forum which is sadly has excluded Türkiye or I would say unfairly has excluded Türkiye although it is the country with the longest shoreline in the Mediterranean. Despite the agreements that Egypt has signed with the Greek Cyprus and Greece, Egypt has always been careful not to trespass the area that Türkiye refers to has its Maritime Zone which is also a positive indication. So I think although Egypt is having this agreement towards Greece now and Greek Cyprus and other players or other actors in the Mediterranean, this should not prevent Egypt from having a similar agreement with Türkiye. For sure either on delimitation or we call it Maritime agreement, or whatever we call it but we should have some kind of an agreement on what is happening in the Mediterranean with Türkiye. And again this needs a lot of communication and lots of negotiations. The third and final issue which is not as big as the first two in my opinion, is the Muslim Brotherhood issue. Egypt insists all the members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether they are the people who are in the armed movement and or the peaceful members of the Muslim Brotherhood who did not practice any acts of violence be sent back to Egypt to be punished. At the same time Türkiye sees it in a humanitarian perspective and does not see a good reason to send back the people who were only practicing political opposition against Egypt and not really has not been involved in acts of violence. Two states needs to come to an agreement on this too but I think this this particular part is much more marginal than the two first two big issues of the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya.



Tajikistan calls for reopening of girl’s schools in Afghanistan



A Tajiki official has expressed Dushanbe’s concern over the ongoing ban on the girl’s education and women’s rights to work. Two years after the Taliban banned girls from going to school beyond sixth grade, Afghanistan is now considered as the only country in the globe with restrictions on female education.

Many people, including women’s rights activists have described the policy of Taliban against girls and women as “gender apartheid” and asked the world community to pressurize the Taliban to remove the decision on banning girls from schools and women form most work and public spaces.

Sharaf Rahimi, Head of the Department of Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, said that Afghanistan is the only country where girls have no right to education.

Sharaf Rahimi, Head of the Department of Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan.

“With due unfortunate, human rights, especially the rights of women and girls are not observed in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. Women are not able to go to workplaces and are almost isolated from society and have no official posts,” Rahimi told Harici.

Rahimi said that the world community must not leave Afghanistan alone and more efforts should be done until reopening of schools for girls over sixth grade.

Girls beyond sixth grade separated from their classmates with tears in their eyes

This comes as many Afghan girls have marked their last day in schools this year as they are no longer able to study beyond sixth grade. The conclusion of the current school year in Afghanistan this week has left sixth grade graduates in distress and videos circulating online showed them saying farewell to their classmates with tears in their eyes.

Among the Taliban officials, only deputy foreign minister Abbas Stanekzai has been very positive about reopening schools for girls. Speaking in a ceremony in Kabul, Stanekzai said that there is no reason to deprive girls from education, calling it an oppression and violation against them. He also said that girl’s education is the major factor for not recognizing the Taliban government by the world.

He said that instead of a ban, efforts must be doubled to provide education opportunities to everyone. “We have only one problem with our public, the neighbors, and the regional countries. That’s the education for girls. Today our nation is upset with us and this is because of education – only education,” he added.

Tajikistan called on the international community not to leave Afghanistan alone

This comes as Rina Amiri, the US Special Representative for women and human rights in Afghanistan, had called on the Taliban to engage in talks with the Afghans regarding their demands for education.

Tem bridge over the river Pyanj is one of five cross-border bridges connecting Afghanistan with Tajikistan.

Speaking in Doha Forum, she also spoke about recognition of the Taliban government saying, “we use the term normalization, not recognition, and it’s not simply a check-off of giving girls an education for recognition; this is a process in which we are coordinating with the rest of the international community, and there is much to be done for the Taliban to get that type of normalization that they seek.”

Meanwhile, Tajiki official, Rahimi called on the world community not to leave Afghanistan alone and also expressed concern over the security situation in Afghanistan.

“Campaign against terrorist groups and comprehensive fight against drugs is also needed to be focused as these two elements have been posing a big security threat not only to Afghanistan but to the regional countries as well,” he added.

Tajikistan supports formation of inclusive government in Afghanistan  

While putting weight behind a formation of inclusive government in Afghanistan, Rahimi said that Tajikistan is supporting a peaceful, united, and drug-and-terrorism free Afghanistan. “We believe that one of the important aspects to maintain security in the Central Asian countries is to immediately resolve security and drug issues in Afghanistan,” he added.

Calling Afghanistan as a brotherly country and neighbor, Rahimi said that Dushanbe hopes for an inclusive government where everyone, including influential figures, political parties, and members of all segments of the society can be part of it.

Rahimi also spoke about the ongoing human rights situation in Afghanistan, saying unfortunately, the situation in Afghanistan is really concerning. “A large population of the Afghans are suffering from poverty. Food insecurity is also threatening almost 90 percent of the Afghan population. The recent earthquakes in Herat province were also a big tragedy that added to the Afghans miseries,” he lamented.

He said that due to the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, the international community must pay more attention and the humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people must be continued.

Tajikistan ready to support Afghanistan overcome food crisis  

“Tajikistan is ready to continue supporting the Afghan people in order to overcome the food crisis and also bring a durable peace. To improve the economy, we are ready to establish joint markets on the bordering areas of Tajikistan and Afghanistan in order to improve business and mutual ties.

Commenting on 11th Herat Security Dialogue (HSD-XI) that had recently been held in Dushanbe, Rahimi said that he was very happy to see Afghans coming under one roof to discuss their problems, saying that Tajikistan is a second home for the Afghans.

He said that participation of high-profile Afghan politicians, former government officials, experts, intellectuals and foreign guests from different organizations, including the European Union, have highlighted the importance of (HSD-XI) conference.

He said that such conferences like HSD, will definitely help in bringing peace, and economic prosperity in Afghanistan, calling such conferences as an important step to open windows for constructive dialogues toward important issues of Afghanistan.

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‘Gaza can only be part of the state of Palestine’



Ambassador Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, who came to the fore with his outbursts on Western televisions such as CNN and BBC after Israel’s attacks on Gaza, spoke to Harici. Evaluating Netanyahu’s plans for Gaza, the Ambassador said, “Gaza is an integral part of the Palestinian state.”

Answering the questions of journalist Esra Karahindiba on behalf of Harici, Husam Zomlot made evaluations on the political situation in Gaza after the war, the support of Arab and Muslim countries to Palestine and Türkiye’s stance on the issue.

‘PLO is the sole legitimate representative of all the Palestinian people’

First of all, I have a question about the representation of Palestine. Wherever you go as the diplomatic representative of Palestine Liberation Organization, whichever TV channel you show up, you have to reply to the acts of Hamas, too. Because people are asking you the acts of Hamas and you are in a position to defend your side any way. How do you explain your position to your interlocuters?

The things are very clear. We represent the Palestinian people, all of them, because we represent the PLO. PLO is the sole legitimate representative of all the Palestinian people. It has it’s legitimacy from all the Palestinian fabric. It has historic legitimacy. It has democratic legitimacy. And it is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of Palestinian people in the region. And it is recognized internationally. So we have the PLO office in London. And we used to have the PLO office in Washington. Therefore, there is no problem about representing the Palestinian people. Palestinian people are united. They are united by the fact that our oppressor is one. They are united by the fact that our flag is one. They are united by the fact that our goal to liberate our land is one. So, the issue between the political factions has nothing to do with our representation. We represent the Palestinian people.

The most important question is the future of Gaza. The US wants the Palestinian authority to govern Gaza after the war. But Netanyahu government refuses that. According to Israeli perception, Israeli Defence Forces will not leave Gaza even after the war. What will be the future Gaza if the US sports Israeli occupation of Gaza? What is your plan B?

The official Israeli approach is that they will not return Gaza to PLO. This is part of their agenda. They don’t want to allow free Palestine to emerge. And Netanyahu is very public about it. He is the one who prevented the creation of the state of Palestine. His plan is very clear. He thinks that if the Palestinian geography and Palestinian political system are unified, that will forcibly bring back the idea of a Palestinian state and he does not want that. I think Netanyahu means what he says. He would want to prevent the Palestinian national institutions and Palestinian unity from happening.

But still, you don’t have a clear image of Gaza after the war. What is your plan B?

There is only one plan and that is the plan of Palestinian people. And that plan is about Gaza and Palestinian leadership. Gaza is an integral part of the Palestine state. Palestinians in Gaza are integral fabric of our nation. Therefore, there are no partial solutions in Gaza. There are no military solutions in Gaza. And Gaza can only be part of the state of Palestine. A comprehensive solution which brings Gaza together with the West Bank and Jerusalem is the capital of our liberate land.

In Türkiye, President Erdoğan talks very harsh against Netanyahu, yet, there are some criticism that Türkiye continues its relations and international trade with Israel. Some Turkish people are boycotting the Israeli goods. Do you think the supporters of Palestine should cut the relationship with Israel? Is boycotting Israel something expected by Palestine?

I don’t know the details of the situation between Türkiye and Israel right now. But I know that Türkiye is a regional power and an international power as being part of NATO, close to Europe, close to the region. Türkiye is a key global actor. Therefore Türkiye’s policy should be based on the responsibility to make sure that there are regional peace and regional stability besides the implementation of international law and international resolutions. This is not being pro-Palestine or pro-Israel or anti-this or anti-that. This is about the implementation of international policy. Not every time Türkiye comes along with the international resolutions, Türkiye is being against Israel. No. Every country should take a very firm stance. This is a responsibility. This is not an exceptional situation. The responsibility of every country is to make sure that international is not violated, to make sure that arms do not end up with the violation of international law, to make sure that international trade does not encourage the status-quo which is the occupation and the oppression of Palestinian people. So, Türkiye would be meeting it’s responsibility as an actor in the international system.

Do you think your supporters should boycott Israel?

Well, the people of the world have been showing great solidarity everywhere. And protest is their right. Boycott is their right. It’s a legitimate right. Using all means, legitimate means to mark Israel’s illegality including boycotting illegal settlement products, making sure that illegal settlers do not have a pass to their countries, making sure that arms are not ending up being used by Israel to kill our children and our civilians… These are responsibility of the people of the world including the Turkish people.

Is there any incident that you asked any type of support from Arab countries and you did not receive it In return?

At least we have a united Arab and Muslim position now. After the Arab-Islamic summit, there is a delegation including the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Palestinian Foreign Minister and many from the region such as Saudi and Egyptian etc. And we have a united position. The number one thing is an immediate and permanent ceasefire. That is the position of the region. Number two is the need for huge humanitarian assistance and corridors. No to any plans of ethnic cleansing and displacement. No to Israel’s taking any area of Gaza. And yes to a comprehensive political momentum.

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‘The presence of the American aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean shows Israel’s vulnerability’



Professor Ahmad Malli, Director of the Centre for Legal and Political Studies at the Lebanese University and a member of Hezbollah’s politburo, conveyed to Harici that the presence of the American aircraft carrier along the eastern Mediterranean coastline serves as a clear indicator of Israel’s increasing vulnerability and decreasing self-defense capabilities. He also noted that, given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Washington is unlikely to open a second front.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict entered its 13th day, an Israeli strike on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza on October 17th resulted in the tragic loss of at least 500 lives, shifting international opinion.

Leaders from the Global South voiced their condemnation of the attack, and citizens across America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa staged protests in front of Israeli embassies, showing support for the Palestinian people and urging Israel to cease its ongoing attacks.

US President Biden’s visit to Israel immediately after the hospital attack and his declaration of full support, including military support, raised tensions.

Russian President Putin, describing the attack as a ‘tragedy, a terrible catastrophe,’ ordered MiG-31 fighter jets capable of carrying hypersonic Kinzhal missiles to patrol the Black Sea in response to the deployment of two US aircraft carriers, the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Putin explained, “Russian hypersonic missiles launched from the Black Sea can reach US aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. This is not a threat, but a reality.”

At this juncture, the world’s attention turns to Iran and Hezbollah. Debates are underway on coaxing Israel into a ceasefire through international public opinion. Questions also arise about the potential deep involvement of Lebanese Hezbollah in the conflict and the ominous prospect of the situation escalating into a regional or even global conflict should Israel proceed further.

We engaged in a discussion with Professor Dr. Ahmad Malli, Director of the Centre for Legal and Political Studies at the Lebanese University and a member of Hezbollah’s Politburo, to delve into the intricacies and noteworthy aspects of the Gaza conflict.

‘Two-state solution is difficult’

Commenting on the Hamas operation and its possible political consequences, Ahmad Malli said:

“Allow me to borrow a word from the Iraqi vocabulary that they use in critical moments, which is ‘wathba’, ‘leap’ in English. Hamas’s leap, while it undoubtedly startled the Zionist enemy, it was unexpected surprise.

The question of how Hamas will leverage this historic accomplishment in politics, such as its stance on the two-state solution, comes to the forefront. In my view, Hamas won’t waste time on something useless, whereas the political landscape in Israel has transformed significantly, with a drift towards the far right. As a result, I doubt that the two-state solution will persist as a topic of political discussion, it has become a thing of the past. Regardless of the outcome of this conflict, it’s likely that we’ll witness a reverse exodus from the Zionist entity.”

‘The timing and form of the Lebanese resistance’s involvement depends on developments on the battlefield’

Is there active coordination with the Lebanese resistance, and to what degree can we anticipate the involvement of the Lebanese resistance in the ongoing conflict?

Malli explained, “From every perspective, it’s essential for Hamas and the Palestinian resistance factions not to stand alone in this battle. Due to their geographical proximity and shared bonds of faith and kinship, the Lebanese resistance is particularly vested in this struggle. The Islamic resistance in Lebanon is aware of that it’s a target of the Israelis and their American backers, irrespective of the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza. This battle’s uniqueness lies in its strong connection to the issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Logically, complete coordination exists among the parties of the resistance axis, and the form and timing of their intervention are tied to developments on the battlefield.”

‘Washington has any interest in opening a second front by engaging in a conflict with Iran’

Regarding the possibility of the conflict evolving into a regional or international war, Malli commented:

“The presence of the American aircraft carrier off the eastern Mediterranean coast is a clear indication of Israel’s vulnerability and its waning ability to protect itself.

Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, it seems improbable that Washington has any interest in opening a second front by engaging in a conflict with Iran, as such a war would likely extend beyond Iran’s borders.

The war in Ukraine has evidently strengthened the alliance between Russia and China, and given its proximity, Russia cannot remain indifferent to developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Russia has had favorable relations with Israel, these ties have suffered due to the Ukraine conflict. Considering the strained relations between Moscow and Washington in this context, Russian-Israeli relations have diverged further, especially given Israel’s close association with the United States. Russian president Putin seized an opportunity to criticize U.S. policy in the Middle East, describing it as a catastrophic failure and drawing parallels between the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the Nazi siege of Leningrad. Bloomberg suggested that Russia and China would emerge as winners from this war.

Neither the Russians nor the Chinese are likely to dispatch aircraft carriers as the Americans have done. However, for various reasons, they won’t concede the playing field to the western powers. It’s important to remember the close ties between Iran and Russia on one hand and Iran and China on the other. The collaboration between Russia and Iran in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the face of a broad coalition that includes western nations, regional powers, and an array of extremist groups is well known.”

‘Iran and Turkey have significant differences in their regional policies’

Commenting on Turkey’s stance and ceasefire efforts, Prof. Dr Ahmad Malli said:

“Regarding Erdogan’s perspective on the American military presence in the eastern Mediterranean and its impact on his room for maneuver, especially in his relations with the Russians, it’s a complex issue. In terms of his relationship with Iran, despite extensive economic cooperation between the two countries, there are substantial divergences in their regional policies.

In the Palestinian arena, which is the current battleground, Ankara and Tehran certainly have their distinct approaches. Despite Erdogan’s close ties with Hamas, he perceives that Tehran is making advances and gaining influence in the Palestinian arena.

There is a difference between the soft power Erdogan wields through his support and the extensive military support that the Iranian leadership provides to Hamas and other Palestinian factions.”

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