CAIRO: During the past week, the Arab summit in Khartoum, coverage of political and economic events and announcements as well as the solar eclipse dominated front pages.
The Arab summit in Khartoum took up most of the space on almost all local front pages on Wednesday. The coverage, however, varied according to each newspapers affiliation.
Al-Ahram’s front page headline focused on President Hosni Mubarak’s statement and his suggestion that several consulting summits would better suit the current situation in the region. According to Al-Ahram, the president said there are developments in the region that require an immediate meeting of Arab leaders. Such summits wouldn’t entail the same preparations as are currently in place.
Al-Masry Al-Youm’s front page headline focused on the summit’s renewal of Arab leaders’ support for the Palestinian government, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
The summit’s recommendations were met primarily with criticism, which began even before the summit ended, as many writers expressed their low expectations for its results.
“We can say, even before the summit announces its decisions or statements, that we don’t expect anything new, wrote Abbas El Tarabeily in Al-Wafd.
On Tuesday, in Al-Ahram, Makram Mohamed Ahmed said that those attending the summit would practically be forced to accept the United Nations Security Council’s decision to deploy international peace keeping forces in Darfur, since the decision was issued a day before the summit began.
One of the newspaper’s editorials the same day read that “success of the Khartoum summit isn’t only in the decisions and statements it issues . It’s more important to dedicate the Arab group to work to contain and stand against the increasing pressure and challenges that pose a danger that all Arab countries face.
On Wednesday, Ahmed criticized the summit’s statements regarding Iraq, saying its recommendations contain nothing new. He had hoped that the recommendations would have stressed the importance of adjusting the Iraqi constitution to better represent the proportionality of the Iraqi population.
Throughout the week, other stories also surfaced in the news. Gamal Mubarak’s TV interview with Lamis El Hadidy was the subject of many editorials.
Ahmed Ragab commended El Hadidy’s ability to introduce Gamal Mubarak to the public. “Although Gamal Mubarak answered all the questions, I was hoping that the answers would be new like the questions, Ragab wrote in Al-Akhbar.
The most important question during the interview was about the younger Mubarak’s intentions regarding the presidency. He repeated his claim that he has no intentions to run in the presidential elections. In Al-Masry Al-Youm, Magdy Mehanna said that Mubarak didn’t properly answer the question of why people don’t believe his answer.
“There is a huge difference between what Gamal says . and reality and the policies that are applied through the National Democratic Party and the state’s authorities, wrote Mehanna.
Another public announcement caught the eye of many writers. Boutros-Ghali announced that he was disappointed that the recommendations of the National Council of Human Rights, upon which he serves as secretary general, are not put into action. The news only found places on the front pages of independent and opposition newspapers.
“Now we have to raise our voices to say that Egypt is in the danger zone, wrote Sayed Abdel Atty in Al-Wafd, commenting on Ghali’s announcement. He said corruption has spread at a horrible rate and people are suffering while the government is not concerned with the problems of the masses.
Corruption in various forms was the topic for many editorials.