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Separating walls
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 17 - 01 - 2019

US Secretary of States Mike Pompeo's tour in the region captured the attention of the press this week.
Massoud Al-Hannawi ruled out that the aim of Pompeo's tour was to find practical solutions or take certain measures to resolve the difficult problems in the region. It rather aimed, Al-Hannawi added, at achieving certain tactical targets in order to correct the accumulative mistakes of President Trump.
Pompeo, the writer explained in his regular column in the daily Al-Ahram, underlined that the age of US reluctance has come to an end.
“As Pompeo was in the middle of his regional tour, US military ships were heading to Syria to withdraw their forces,” he wrote.
In the meantime, Al-Hannawi said Pompeo did not give us any hope that the Palestinian issue will be resolved during Trump's term in office especially after his administration took the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and claimed that the Palestinian refugees do not exceed 40,000 whereas in reality they have exceeded six million.
Salem Al-Katebi noted that the speech Pompeo delivered during his visit to Cairo reviewed the general lines in Trump's foreign policy in the region in the coming phase.
Al-Katebi pointed to a few messages that Pompeo delivered in his speech, namely that he emphasised that his country will continue to work with its allies to expel Iranian militias from Syria via diplomatic tools. He stressed the US commitment to fighting terrorism and that the withdrawal from Syria will not affect US efforts in that field. And he underlined that Iranian ambitions transcend the Middle East region, and consequently he called on all countries in the region to cooperate to face Iranian expansionist policies.
“Pompeo's speech included possible mechanisms to meet US strategic targets like establishing an alliance with GCC countries, Egypt and Jordan to confront Iran. This is also an indication of the US desire to achieve comprehensive peace between the Arabs and Israel in order that the latter can join in the efforts to confront Iran,” Al-Katebi wrote in the daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
In fact, the writer continued, the speech delivered a US strategic initiative in the Middle East based on involving all the region's countries in the efforts to confront Iran.
Amr Shobki cast light on the culture of building walls that some developed countries resort to separate themselves from the poor or underdeveloped regions or countries and put an end to the idea of communication and dialogue among civilisations that peoples and countries have known for ages.
“The last wall of separation was built by Israel to separate their state from the Palestinian territories. And now Trump wants to build a wall to separate the US from Mexico or to separate his country from its history,” Shobki wrote in the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
He said our country had recently known the culture of building walls. The rich quarters that had been connected to the poor like Zamalek and Boulak – separated only by a bridge – disappeared. Even state ministers were not surrounded by walls until they were targeted by terrorists.
Unfortunately, the connected quarters were replaced by rich gated compounds that are secluded from poor areas.
Shobki concluded by expressing hope that the ministries and state institutions in the new administrative capital will not be surrounded by walls.
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Sandstorms
Sandstorms
By Amr Selim, Al-Masry Al-Youm


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