Is Egypt in for "date" revolution?

In any event, no matter how bloodlessly the change of power occurs in Egypt, there may be staged the already approved scenario, when opposition beforehand blames authorities for falsification.

On June 30 an oppositional Egyptian newspaper reported that soon President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, after 28 years of presidency, will send in his resignation, proposing to his post instead of himself his son, Deputy Chairman of the ruling National-Democratic Party Gamal Mubarak. The news, let us say, is rather unexpected, if we consider the prevalent traditions of "eastern democracy". The resignation of Mubarak, if it actually occurs, can change the configuration of the Great Near East, though in short term outlook.
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hardly will Gamal Mubarak carry out a policy different from that of his father's, especially as far as it concerns the relations with Israel. The impending change of power in Cairo can further develop in two or several directions, one of which may be directed against the regulation of the Palestinian problem. One ought not to forget that Egypt is the only Arab country with which Israel holds diplomatic relations. In the course of the last 28 years, after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, Egypt considered it for his good to maintain more or less normal relations with Tel Aviv, at the same time remembering her co-religionists. But, it is also true that only with the help of his iron hand did Mubarak suppress the activity of all Islamic groupings in the territory of his country.

If we take as a version the invariability of foreign policy of Cairo in relation to both her neighbors and the basic allies, i.e. France and Russia, it is possible to say that under such distribution, the changes in the region will concern exclusively the Palestinians. Let us note that, in a wider sense, the independent Palestinian state is necessary to no one, and first of all it is not necessary to the Arabs themselves, as it is extra concern. The invariability of the foreign policy of Egypt is suitable for Israel too, especially if we take into consideration the recent close ties of Mubarak with the White House administration, especially after the sensational lecture of Barack Obama at the Cairo University. But policy is policy. It is possible to say that Egypt to a certain extent imitates Syria in the issue of assignation of the "throne". The same was done also by late Hafez Assad, the former President of Syria. And friends were the same - Russia, i.e. the USSR and France. Nine years has passed since the death of Assad Sr. but Syria is only now ready to introduce some changes in her policy in the region: be it withdrawal of forces from Lebanon, attempt of having a dialogue with Israel and full restoration of relations with the USA at the level of ambassadors.

In this plan, of course, Egypt has fewer concerns, but what will become of the country in case the president is changed? Usually, and it is already becoming a rule, the successor of a tough leader very often finds himself in a more unfavorable position, which may generate just another tension in the region, where besides traditional players there will also be Turkey, Iran, and possibly the same Syria. We do not even consider the basic players: the USA, EU, Russia and Israel. In any event, no matter how bloodlessly the change of power occurs in Egypt, there may be staged the already approved scenario, when opposition beforehand blames authorities for falsification. Iranian events should serve as an example for the entire Near East.

Early parliamentary elections in Egypt are due in September 2009. As for presidential elections, they are to be held in 2011. And presently it remains obscure whether they will be changed onto an earlier date too, or Gamal Mubarak will bear the responsibilities of the Egyptian President until the date of regular elections.

Thus, we may witness one more, this time "date" revolution, analogous with the "orange" or the "green". However, the outcome of this revolution in Egypt might be more pessimistic than in Iran. But it may also be different. The USA or, to be more exact, the Jewish lobby, simply will not bear instability on the border with Israel and they will do their best to ease the dissatisfaction of the Egyptian opposition.

There is one more possible scenario - the exact settlement of the Palestinian conflict on conditions convenient for Israel. The key to this scenario is the untraditional for the East resignation of the state leader. In this case Tel Aviv solves the problem, using the principle of "compulsion to peace", the precedent of which already exists in the international practice. The only question is what the Great Near East will benefit from it: just another war and establishment of the state of Palestine without Jerusalem or certain equilibrium, a special kind of Camp David Accords.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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