The UK and international papers today continue to cover developments in the anti-government protests in Egypt as demonstrations go into their eighth day. In the latest developments, the papers note that the Egyptian army sided with the protesters and ruled out any use of force against peaceful demonstrations. Meanwhile, protesters have called for a million man march to take place on the streets today. The Telegraph reports that Israel has supported Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by allowing Egyptian troops to deploy to the Sinai Peninsula. The Independent carries an interview with Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian anti-government leader and a potential challenger to Mubarak. Sky News reports that Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair told Sky News that the Egyptian protests must not be allowed to harm the region’s peace process efforts and that change in Egypt was inevitable. The Scotsman notes that Syrian President Bashar Assad said that there is no chance the political upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt can spread to Syria because Syria’s ruling hierarchy is “very closely linked to the beliefs of the people.” In other news, the Telegraph and Reuters note that UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox said yesterday that outgoing Mossad Chief Meir Dagan’s assessment that Iran would not produce nuclear weapons by 2015 was over optimistic and said that Iran may reach nuclear capabilities by next year.
In the Israeli press, all papers note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Jerusalem yesterday. During a joint press conference Netanyahu warned of the danger of an Egyptian regime led by Islamic extremists that may result from the protests. Haaretz note that newly appointed Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman addressed Egyptian state TV yesterday and said that he will start dialogue with all political parties in order to institute political and constitutional reforms. In other news, all papers note that two Grad rockets and a Qassam rocket were fired yesterday from Gaza into southern Israel, four residents were treated for shock. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post and Ynetnews note that UK Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox said yesterday that Iran could have a nuclear weapon by next year and that Western powers should make decisions on more pessimistic assessments over Iran’s nuclear capabilities.