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Latest in Opinion


Russia’s lost opportunity with Japan

By Yuriko Koike TOKYO: President Dmitri A. Medvedev visit to the south Kuril Islands, which the Soviet Red Army seized from Japan in the closing days of World War II, has demonstrated in unmistakable terms that Russia has no intention of returning the mineral-rich islands. This visit is not only a lost opportunity, given Russia’s need …

DNE

Discussing economic (and also political) freedom in Cairo

By  Ronald Meinardus CAIRO: This year, we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the unification of Germany. Apart from bringing unity and freedom to the people of that country, this epochal event also symbolizes more than anything else the end of the global confrontation between what was then the East and the West. This conflict came …

DNE

Opportunities for foreign influence

By Safa Hussein BAGHDAD: If government formation in Iraq is to be compared with that of other countries, the two most distinguishing characteristics of the Iraqi case would be the lengthy time involved and the influence of foreign countries. Since the March 7, 2010 national elections, the number of visits by Iraqi political leaders and delegations …

DNE

The weary titan

By Pierre Buhler PARIS: The unfolding “currency war,” which is likely to dominate discussions at the upcoming G-20 summit in Seoul, must be assessed against the backdrop of the new landscape of power — a landscape that has been transformed, in just two years, by the first crisis of the globalized economy. The economic consequences of …

DNE

Righting the Wrongs of Leprosy

By Yohei Sasakawa TOKYO: At its 15th session, which ended at the beginning of October, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution encouraging governments to eliminate discrimination against people affected by leprosy — and their family members. As the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, I have long campaigned for this outcome. …

DNE

Oman: Going head-to-head

By Oxford Business Group Rivalry in Oman’s busy telecommunications sector is heating up as the two main service providers look to increase subscriber numbers in the fixed line, mobile phone and internet markets while also working to strengthen their capital positions to support further expansion. Competition between the state-controlled Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) and the Nawras, …

DNE

The dilemma of democracy in new Iraq

By Faiza Alaraji BAGHDAD: When America invaded Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration claimed that they came to liberate Iraq and bring democracy — to make it a shining example in the Middle East. I believe most Iraqis still remember those rosy promises, and smile with bitterness, wondering to themselves: what kind of democracy have we …

DNE

The peace process should quit smoking

By Karam Dana BOSTON: Nothing makes a person more uncomfortable than visiting their home country and feeling very helpless. As a Palestinian-American, visiting the West Bank, where I was born, forces me to taste the burdens of daily life, as well as feel the despair of an entire population. No matter how long the Palestinians walk, …

DNE

Angela Merkel’s fear of Europe

By Joschka Fischer BERLIN: Ever since the global financial crisis erupted in September 2008, the European Union has been in turmoil. On the one hand, the euro protected the eurozone, particularly Germany’s export economy, from speculative attacks and the chaos of currency volatility. On the other hand, the second phase of the crisis mercilessly exposed the …

DNE

A scramble for Asia?

By Brahma Chellaney NEW DELHI: Asia’s festering Cold War-era territorial and maritime disputes highlight the fact that securing long-term region-wide peace depends on respect for existing borders. Attempts to disturb Asia’s territorial status quo are an invitation to endemic conflict — a concern that led Asian states to welcome the US and Russia to their annual …

DNE

Lebanon: Balancing act on debt

By Oxford Business Group Lebanon’s government has been urged by a multilateral lender to strengthen its public finances, upgrade infrastructure and improve the business environment to sustain recent macroeconomic progress. However, servicing the nation’s vast public debt is a constant drain on the funds needed for many of these initiatives. In its latest assessment of the …

DNE

Can religious leaders play a constructive role?

By Hanna Siniora JERUSALEM – In a message that concluded two weeks of meetings of the Vatican Synod on the Middle East, the bishops declared that Israel should not use the biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify new settlements in Jerusalem or territorial claims in the West Bank. The statement …

DNE

The neglected epidemic of domestic violence in the Arab countries

By César Chelala NEW YORK: Although domestic violence is under-recognized and under-reported, it is also one of the most significant epidemics in the Arab countries today. It is gender violence, manifested essentially as violence against women. This kind of violence occurs in practically all countries in the region and affects families of all backgrounds, religions and …

DNE

Goodluck Nigeria

By Ike Okonta LAGOS: The bombs that exploded in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, as the country was celebrating its golden jubilee earlier this month are a disturbing portent of the unprecedented political territory that the country is entering. The death last May of Umaru Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s president, upended the informal agreement between members of the ruling People’s …

DNE

View from the region’s western frontier

By John Defterios If vibrant colors, sights and sounds were rated as indicators to attract business and foreign direct investment, Marrakech and Morocco in general would win that competition hands down. Entering the giant market square Jemaa El Fna a half hour before sunset takes one to a bygone era. Traders, craftsmen and the odd purveyor …

DNE

Why this Zionist opposed Israel’s loyalty oath

By Moriel Rothman MIDDLEBURY, Vermont: In October, the Israeli cabinet approved a new law that will require all non-Jewish immigrants applying for citizenship to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish State. Israelis across the political spectrum voiced outrage. Carlos Strenger in Ha’aretz wrote that the bill will only make “Arabs feeling even less at …

DNE

Canadian Muslims erect first minaret in Arctic

OTTAWA: Canadian Muslims have erected the Arctic’s first minaret, atop a little yellow mosque which serves as spiritual home to the area’s fledgling Islamic community. The mosque arrived in Inuvik last month to serve a growing Muslim population in Canada’s far north, after traveling 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) over land and water. The minaret — …

AFP

Nour calls on EU to oversee Egypt’s elections

CAIRO: Political dissident and head of Al-Ghad Party Ayman Nour called on the European Union (EU) to oversee parliamentary and presidential elections, requesting that the European Commission “play a greater role” in supporting human rights in Egypt. Nour visited the European Commission headquarters in Brussels during a recent tour of a number of European countries. …

Essam Fadl

Visa hosts security forum in Cairo

Visa Inc. held its 2010 Payment Security Forum in Cairo, bringing 250 card industry professionals from across the Middle East, Africa, South East Europe, Russia and the CIS region together to address the latest payment technology innovations as well as the identification and application of best practices on payment security relevant to markets and businesses …

Daily News Egypt Authors

Emir of Qatar welcomed to Britain with state banquet

WINDSOR: Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish state banquet to welcome the emir of Qatar to Britain, as her husband showed off his charming side to the Gulf ruler’s wife. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was the guest of honor for the banquet Tuesday in regal surroundings at Windsor Castle, which was also attended by …

AFP

Ailing Ivory Coast economy waits on election result

ABIDJAN: After a decade of political and military crisis, the economy of Ivory Coast has taken many setbacks, but the country’s people hope that Sunday’s presidential election will bring an improvement. "The crisis is not just politico-military, it is also economic and social," stresses the president of the West African country’s chamber of commerce and …

Daily News Egypt

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans 5-yr benchmark sukuk

DUBAI/LONDON: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans to issue a five-year benchmark dollar Islamic bond which will price by this week, one of the lead bankers on the deal told Reuters on Tuesday. ADIB, the second largest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates, has mandated Barclay’s Capital, HSBC and Standard Chartered, for the Islamic bond, …

Daily News Egypt

Africa’s tech explosion holds promise of economic growth – Feature

JOHANNESBURG: Ask web entrepreneur Stefan Magdalinski why he moved from London to Cape Town two years ago, and he points to a map that illustrates the technological revolution reshaping Africa. The map shows the 14 undersea fiber-optic cables that will link the continent’s Internet service providers to the servers of Europe and Asia by mid-2012, …

AFP

Dubai’s ENBD Q3 profit falls on bad loans, Dubai World

DUBAI: Dubai-based Emirates NBD said its third-quarter net profit more than halved, undershooting analysts’ forecasts, due to a spike in bad loans and a provision for its exposure to debt-laden Dubai World. Emirates NBD, the Middle East’s largest bank by assets, reported 424 million dirhams ($115.5 million) in third-quarter net profit compared with 1.05 billion …

Reuters

Egyptian clothing guide: Top local brands

Given Egypt’s international fame for its high-quality cotton, it seems natural that the local fashion industry would be a flourishing one. Think again. The local obsession with imported fashion in recent years hasn’t helped home-grown fashion labels, but a few smart businesspeople and local designers have managed to successfully tap into the potential of the …

Daily News Egypt

Banks in Saudi Arabia struggle to find talent

RIYADH: Foreign banks are flocking to Saudi Arabia as the emirate opens up its bourse and rolls out the world’s biggest stimulus package but they face challenges recruiting, training and ultimately retaining local staff. Speakers at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit this week said the Gulf Arab state offers plenty of opportunities for banks …

Reuters

Blom bank sees 2010 growth, Mideast expansion

BEIRUT: Blom Bank, one of the top two banks in Lebanon, expected its 2010 results to be a "major improvement" as the country’s economy improves and said it was looking to expand in the Middle East. The strong growth in the Lebanese economy and in retail and corporate loans was driving the bank’s growth in …

Daily News Egypt

Kuwait’s Gulf Bank expects turnaround in Q3

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Gulf Bank expects the third quarter of this year to be a turnaround quarter as it executes a two-year plan to rebuild itself, its chief executive said on Tuesday. "What everybody expects is that this (third quarter) will be the turnaround quarter… and going forward every quarter should be slightly better than the …

Reuters

US will one day beg Iran for ties, says Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN: Iran’s President claimed the United States will one day apologize and beg Tehran that the two countries resume diplomatic relations, the official IRNA news agency reported. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said the US administration has allegedly become so weakened that it can’t harm Iran in any way. US-Iran relations were cut after the US Embassy …

AP

GB Auto may soon shop around for Hyundai replacement

CAIRO: Ghabbour (GB) Auto, one of the Middle East’s biggest automobile manufacturers, may watch its contract with Hyundai to assemble its Verna model go unrenewed. “This would be a big loss for GB Auto,” stated Kamal Khedr, a research analyst at Beltone Financial, a Cairo-based investment firm. In a note from Naeem Brokerage, based in …

Christopher Le Coq