Egyptian state-owned newspapers have sharply criticised American President George W. Bush’s recent Middle East tour, saying the president’s speeches call to question America’s credibility in the region.
The newspapers centre their comments around Bush’s speech on Thursday at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, saying it was too supportive of Israeli policy and did not mention the Palestinians’ plight.
“The Torah-invoked speech of Bush raised question marks over the credibility of the U.S. role in the Middle East,” said Mursi Atallah, publisher of the state-owned Al Ahram daily newspaper. “Bush aims to do nothing but appease Israel,” Atallah said.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has largely supported American efforts during the “war on terror.”
Bush’s trip, touted as an opportunity for him to push his efforts for a peace deal before the expiration of his term in January 2009, took him to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where he made a brief stopover.
Critics said the American President’s efforts were nearly fruitless.
In Saudi Arabia, his failure to achieve any success was seen in the second thwarted attempt to convince Riyadh to pump more oil into the international market to bring down prices.
A front page editorial in Al Gomhuria did not mince words, saying of Bush’s speech and visit: “A failed president who delivers nothing but a lousy speech.”
Arabs across the region were not happy with Bush’s visit to Israel to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding.
During his speech to the Knesset, Bush reiterated that the United States would continue its close ties with Israel, dismissing the notion that the Jewish state should be forced to negotiate with its armed adversaries. Panapress.