Monday, July 31, 2006

Egypt’s Mubarak says UN “impotent” over Lebanon

I guess he hasn't looked in the mirror lately!

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Monday the UN Security Council had revealed its impotence in its response to Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah, and again called for an immediate ceasefire. In an address to the nation, Mubarak said the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians was the core of the problem and so there was an urgent need to revive peace talks.
He called for an urgent international investigation into the Israeli attack on the south Lebanese village of Qana on Sunday, in which at least 54 civilians were killed.

The UN Security Council met in New York on Sunday and unanimously adopted a statement deploring the Qana attack. But the United States blocked adoption of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s call for an immediate truce. Mubarak said: “Egypt expresses its regret and annoyance at the failure to reach an immediate ceasefire... The Security Council has failed to deal rapidly and effectively with the Israeli aggression and to fulfil its responsibility for international peace and security.” “This foot-dragging and impotence reflect the fundamental flaws in the joint defence system which the United Nations represents,” the Egyptian president added. Mubarak on Monday sent Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the crisis.

Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia -- three of the Arab governments most friendly toward the United States -- face outrage and protest at home against Israel’s conduct, pushing them to try to take a tougher line with Washington. The government of Morocco, which also has good relations with Washington, condemned as odious the Israeli attack on Qana, the state news agency MAP reported. It called on the international community, especially the world’s most influential countries and organisations, to act to put an end to the war.

In Kuwait, a staunch US ally since American troops freed it from Iraqi occupation in 1991, several members of parliament slammed Washington for not acting to curb Israel’s offensive.
“America stands behind this war. America condemns terrorism but it also practices it,” said Sunni Islamist MP Ahmed al-Saadoun during a heated parliamentary session.

The Algerian daily newspaper Le Quotidien d’Oran said the bombing of Qana was “one of the blackest pages of its (Israel’s) sinister history”. “With all the indescribable hatred and sickening contempt that it shows towards Lebanese civilians, (it) also constitutes an insult to Arab leaders... It is an insult to their cowardice, to their powerlessness and the subservience (to the United States) that certain among them have not hidden,” it added.

In Tunisia, tacher Hamida el Bour said: “It (the attack on Qana) shows clearly that Israel respects no international laws and changes the terms of reference whenever it wants to.”
“This crime gives the US no excuse for being surprised if one day the September 11 attacks happen again.” she added. Professional organisations and opposition groups are planning more demonstrations in Cairo on Monday in protest at the Israeli attacks in Lebanon. There have been protests in Cairo most days for the past week, usually with several hundred participants at a time.


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