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Al-Sharq, Qatar

Egyptian Analysts:
Obama Better Than
Romney for Arabs

... Barack Obama is “the best for the Arab region and its interests."

Translated By Leila Tannous

7 November 2012

Edited by Molly Rusk

Qatar - Al-Sharq - Original Article (Arabic)

Egyptian experts saw in the political affairs of the victory of the Democratic candidate that a second presidential term for Barack Obama is “the best for the Arab region and its interests." At the same time, they insist that Washington's foreign policy "does not change."

The director of Ibn Khaldun, a center for development studies, Saad Eddin Ibrahim said, "Democratic candidate Barack Obama is better for the Arabs than Republican rival Mitt Romney, particularly regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is clear that Obama would be less responsive to pressure by the Zionist lobbyists during his second term, during which the U.S. president usually has more freedom and is under less pressure."

A member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Atef Al-Ghamry, also shared why he believed that Obama is better than rival Romney. According to Al-Ghamry, Gov. Romney "adopts policies which are hostile to Islam. In addition, Obama's policies lean towards change, unlike Romney’s. Had he won, Romney would have reinstated the same Bush policies that were previously rejected in the U.S."

Al-Ghamry added, "U.S. foreign policy, in the Obama era, was expected to change after the Arab Spring — first and foremost U.S. policy toward Egypt. The problem was that the Arab Spring did not materialize, and its features did not place a powerful pressure on Washington; Arabs did not take the initiative to identify what they believed U.S. foreign policy regarding themselves should look like.”

Norhan Sheikh, a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, confirmed that U.S. policy has constants which do not change; every U.S. president is challenged by these. However, style and performance vary from one president to another. Sheikh says that Obama is "softer" than both his predecessor George W. Bush and his newly defeated rival, Romney.



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