Friday, 7 May 2010

Love of the Land: The myth of the Arab triangle

The myth of the Arab triangle

Tony Badran
NOW Lebanon
04 May '10

The last couple of weeks have shed the spotlight again on the tensions between Egypt and the regional Iranian axis, which includes Syria. The tensions surged with the conviction of Hezbollah cell members by the Egyptian judiciary, as well as with Cairo’s friction with Hamas and the persistence of its strained relations with Syria. Despite talk of reconciliation between Cairo and Damascus, the gap dividing the two states remains wide, as they have conflicting objectives and opposing strategic alignments.

The possibility of Egyptian-Syrian reconciliation had received ample airtime ahead of the Arab Summit in late March, but it amounted to very little. During the summit, the political differences dividing the two states were on display, pitting Egypt and Syria in opposing camps on key issues such as Palestinian politics, the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, their respective positions on “resistance,” and, in general, Syria’s strategic position within the Iranian camp.

In the end, the Egyptians and Syrians only agreed to stop media campaigns against each other, which had reached a fevered pitch. It was speculated that the freeze in media wars was to pave the way for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, who had undergone surgery.

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Love of the Land: The myth of the Arab triangle

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