Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Egypt’s role

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The world welcomes the Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas following eight days of bitter fighting. It brings considerable relief to residents of the Gaza strip and Israeli citizens. But the truce is fragile. All depends on the mediation of Cairo backed by Washington. The killing of Hama military chief, Ahmed Jabari exposed the schism in the Palestinian polity. The West Bank ruled by Mahmood Abbas’s Fatah is cut off from Gaza under Hamas. In Gaza, Hama is at odds with the more militant organizations, particularly the Salafists. Egypt has to be complimented for the role it has played in bringing about the ceasefire, proving that the Arab Spring has not been in vain. Besides, it seems that Egypt under President Mohammed Morsi is trying to regain the country’s pivotal role in West Asia and North Africa. Morsi is distant from the US but close to the Hamas. The Egypt-Israel peace accord is the bedrock of stability in the region. Morsi has shown considerable pragmatism in brokering the ceasefire.

India has called for maximum restraint, resumption of direct talks and support to Egyptian mediation. However, the traditional political elements in Delhi continue to be pro-Palestine, a hangover from the cold war regime. India should wake up to the changing realities in West Asia. The Palestinian problem is no longer what it used to be. India now has diplomatic and trade relations with Israel. Egypt has changed after the revolution of rising expectations which started in Tahrir Square. It is in India’s interest to back Cairo’s peace initiative which will promote global security and push Delhi’s foreign policy priorities.

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