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Erdogan Speaks: Egypt’s Transition Must Be Led By A Temporary Administration

Increasingly influential in the Muslim world, the Turkish Prime Minister speaks candidly about what must change in the face of the popular revolt in the Middle East.

Erdogan (WEF)

BISHKEK- On an official visit to Kyrgzstan, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at length Wednesday for the first time publicly about the situation in Egypt, telling Turkish journalists that Middle East leaders must respond to the popular calls for democratic reforms.

The Egyptian military has asked people to return home, but clashes continue. What's your perspective on the situation?To resist the will of the people is like trying to make a river change its course. Whatever that river requires, sooner or later, it will get. I have no intention of interfering in Egypt's domestic politics. But for decades there has been frustration in the Middle East. The people of the region have suffered. We are not a country that can sit back and be a spectator to events in the Middle East. People there ask us for our opinion.

Do you think things have passed the point of no return? That is the way it looks.

Could this spread to other places?What are you going to do with the Palestine documents published by Al Jazeera? The documents on Egypt, likewise. People there don't just see these documents, they are living them. At a 2,500-person conference in Sharm el Sheikh, a woman stood up, a journalist, and asked me: How many weeks does it take for elections to take place in your country? I told her ‘We get conclusive results within 24 hours, but we'll know what the situation is by 10 or 11pm on Election Day". She said ‘With us, it takes a month".

What did you make of the Egyptian military's statement? I followed what was happening until late at night. This statement was deemed insufficient by the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Cairo's square. The people expect (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak to take a very different kind of step. The present government doesn't inspire confidence as to the swift transition to democracy. A roadmap, a schedule is needed. If they announce a schedule, the masses will be satisfied. If they don't, they will be frustrated. I think it is very, very important that this transition period is managed by a temporary administration. Because trust is key. There are steps that need to be taken to establish this. I hope that the bloodshed and deaths in Egypt will stop. More than 100 people have died. It is not good for this to continue. But the statement by the military is significant and meaningful. It is relevant to the future of Egypt. The present attitude of the police there is also significant.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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