Panorama of the week: Doubts about Erdogan’s credibility, effects of Gaza war on Yemen-Lebanon

Observers underestimated the ability of the Erdogan-Sisi meeting to overcome differences, given previous accumulations and Erdogan’s lack of credibility. It is also not expected that classifying the Houthis as a terrorist organization will affect the group, while efforts to calm the situation in Gaza have set back due to the escalation of tension in Lebanon.

Panorama of the week: Doubts about Erdogan’s credibility, effects of Gaza war on Yemen-Lebanon
18 February 2024   06:05

Arab newspapers published last week touched on Erdogan's visit to Egypt, in addition to the escalation between Washington and the Houthis, in addition to the negotiation process regarding Gaza, and the increasing level of escalation in Lebanon.

Sisi Erdogan... a warmth that cannot overcome differences

The beginning of Erdogan’s visit to Egypt, and in this context, Al-Arab newspaper indicated that relations between Egypt and Turkey entered a new turn following the visit made by Erdogan to Cairo on Wednesday, and his reception by Sisi at the airport, and he was ecstatic about achieving a moral victory over his former rival, who was scheduled to receive him in Ankara last year.

The newspaper saw that the current reconciliation with Cairo lacks testimony to Erdogan’s “good conduct and behavior” in view of previous accumulations, but it includes testimony to the dominance of the transactional approach, which may achieve what the clashes were unable to achieve. The Turkish President took with him to Cairo the ministers of foreign affairs, defense, treasury, finance, health, industry, technology, and trade.

Setback in negotiations on Gaza

Regarding the Cairo negotiations on Gaza, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar indicated that the Cairo meeting ended without any serious positive progress. On the contrary, a negative atmosphere prevailed after it became clear that the Israeli delegation withdrew from participating and left Cairo without the Hamas delegation arriving.

How will the Houthis be affected by their designation as a “terrorist group”?

In its turn, Al Hurra Network saw that Yemen is entering a new phase, with the United States returning the Houthi group to the list of terrorist groups, through which Washington aims to obstruct "the financing of terrorist operations" due to the disruption caused by this Iran-linked group to the movement of trade in the Red Sea.

According to the network, the reclassification of the Houthis as a terrorist organization in the United States will not include sanctions for providing “material support” nor a travel ban, and thus will not constitute a major obstacle to providing aid to Yemeni civilians.

Mohammed Al-Basha, senior Middle East analyst at the US Navanti Consulting Group, downplayed the direct impact of the sanctions on the Houthis. Pointing out that the sectors that will actually be harmed are “institutions that deal in dollars, such as banks, the Aviation Authority, the ports of Hodeidah, as well as telecommunications, oil and gas companies.”

“A worrying transformation” in the battle of Lebanon

Regarding the Lebanese issue, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper indicated that Israel’s assassination of a Hezbollah military leader in a raid in the city of Nabatieh, on Wednesday night, reflects a “worrying shift” in the course of the battle that has been ongoing since October 8, according to UNIFIL estimates. Given its geographical distance and its repercussions, it resulted in the killing of 7 civilians from one family living in an apartment adjacent to the house in which the party official and two of his aides were assassinated, while the Israeli army loaded its planes into the skies of Beirut with “heavy bombs capable of hitting distant targets.”