Monday, January 12, 2009

The View from Egypt: Egyptians Pour Scorn on 'Feeble Diplomacy'

Gulf News, January 10, 2009 - Cairo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gaith has drawn withering criticism after he was snapped in a congenial mood while emerging from talks with his Israeli counterpart recently.

"A photo, showing our Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gaith tenderly holding the hand of his Israeli counterpart after their talks in Cairo, made him appear as though he was walking along with a close friend with whom he shared fond memories. Every Arab found this photo provocative." These words, penned by Mohammad Al Baz in the independent newspaper Al Khamis last week, echoed scorn heaped on Aboul Gaith across Egypt. "He is the worst foreign minister in Egypt's history," Al Baz signed off. Since Israel launched its invasion of Gaza on December 27, Aboul Gaith, who served as Egypt's envoy at the UN before being picked for the foreign minister's post in 2004, has been under fire for what detractors describe as his inept handling of the crisis.

Two days before the invasion of Gaza Israeli Foreign Minister Tizpi Livni had visited Cairo, where she met President Hosni Mub-arak and Aboul Gaith. Their talks prompted critics inside and outside Egypt to accuse Cairo of collusion in the Israeli onslaught on Gaza....

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