More hope and change…
The Egyptian government has rebuffed President Obama’s personal request for election monitors in its parliamentary elections.
The Washington Times reported:
The Egyptian government has publicly rejected U.S. demands — and President Obama’s personal request — for monitors to observe Sunday’s parliamentary elections and for adherence to international standards of transparency and fairness.
President Hosni Mubarak’s government instead has overseen a crackdown against his political opposition, arresting at least 1,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, and disqualifying their leaders in many cases from even standing for election.
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Cairo’s snubbing of Mr. Obama follows the U.S. president’s run of hard luck in general on Middle East diplomacy. This month, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani rejected Mr. Obama’s personal request to relinquish the presidency. In 2009, the Iranian government rejected multiple offers from Mr. Obama to resume direct negotiations.
The mood from official Cairo was captured in a front-page editorial this week in the state-run and -funded newspaper, Al-Ahram, which often serves as a weather vane for the thinking inside the Mubarak regime.
“America and its experts should know and realize the Egyptian leadership role,” al-Ahram’s editor, Osama Saraya, said in the editorial. “Egypt has played and plays an important role in matters of regional peace and security … and is capable of bringing regional stability to all the areas that are regressing due to wrong U.S. policies in Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.