Arabs relieved by ‘courageous’ Obama’s victory

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Dubai | US President Barack Obama’s re-election was expected by many Arab analysts, and when officially announced was welcomed by the people.
Analysts said that the Arab world was relieved by Obama’s victory because he is the “lesser of the two evils” than the republican candidate Mitt Romney.
They also said that Obama’s hands will be freer to take more ‘courageous’ steps in many foreign policy issues, especially those related to the Arab region.
They added that the Palestinian question tops these issues.
“Arabs became more mature from the media” Egyptian political analyst Abdel Monem Saeed said.
“They know that the choice in politics is not always between the good and bad, the active and inactive. Sometimes, the choice is between the worse and worst,” Saeed, Director of the Cairo-based regional Centre for Strategic Studies, added.
According to Gulf News, the majority of Arabs feel disappointed by Obama’s failure in the past four years to meet their high expectations of a breakthrough in their main problems, including the Palestinian question.
Yet, many strongly believe Obama is more capable of taking ‘courageous’ moves in his second term, unlike Romney who felt the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is unsolvable.
“The outcome of the US election came as a disappointment to (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and those who are with him and support his policies,” Hunaida Ghanem, Director of West Bank-based Palestinian forum for Israeli Studies Madar, said.
“Practically, the US presidential election will have an impact on the local Israeli elections and its candidates,” she said.
Apart from the Palestinian issue, many Arab analysts expect Washington to continue its diplomatic approach in dealing with the Iranian issue and the concerns over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.
Some political experts don’t rule out the possibility of a “possible generous deal” between Iran and the US to solve the issue, before resorting to a military solution.
“You have a president who received four years of training,” Khalid Al-Yahya, Director of Governance and Public Policy at Dubai School of Government, said of Obama.
If Romney won, he needs more time to understand all the different issues and “will start receiving training. Also the pressure of lobbies and interest groups on him will be heavier than in the case of Obama,” Al Yahya added. Agencies

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