EU urges peace talks resumption
In the UK and international press today, most papers report that two Iranian warships crossed the Suez Canal yesterday en route to Syria. Reuters and the Scotsman report that Egypt’s military announced the country’s new cabinet which retained ministers from Hosni Mubarak’s government in several key positions. Several papers also note that UK Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to Gulf States, addressed the Kuwaiti Parliament yesterday and praised the “brave” protesters in the region who were “hungry for political and economic freedom.” The Daily Telegraph reports that Cameron called for radical reform in EU aid to the Middle East and North Africa saying that the countries should lose aid if they did move towards democracy. The Guardian reports that yesterday Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attended the annual meeting of the EU-Israel Association in Brussels. During the press conference after the meeting, a freelance journalist attempted a citizen’s arrest on Lieberman and was escorted out of the press room by security personnel.
In the Israeli press, Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post note that EU officials told Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during meetings in Brussels yesterday that the current instability in the Middle East makes it imperative to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. All papers report that Dan Shapiro, the current director of the Middle East at the National Security Council, is expected to be nominated by US President Barack Obama as the next US ambassador to Israel. Haaretz and Ynetnews report that Israel and the US successfully carried out tests of the anti-missile Arrow system off the coast of California yesterday. Haaretz reports that Egypt swore in a new cabinet yesterday and retained several key portfolios for ministers that were involved in the previous Hosni Mubarak government.