Sunday, March 06, 2005

Freedom for the Mideast?

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Unexpected Whiff of Freedom Proves Bracing for the Mideast

There is no doubt that there is a new political wind blowing through the Middle East.

Much has been influenced by the elections in Palestine and Iraq. With pan-Arabic television increasingly important throughout the entire region, these waves of these elections have reached every corner of the Arab world.

And there is no denying the role played by the urgings of primarily US President Bush. In the case of the opening that we might now be seeing in Egypt, the connection seems to be very clear.

To this is now added what we are seeing on the streets of Lebanon, and the pressure that the regime in Damascus suddenly finds itself under.

On Wednesday of the coming week I'll be in Madrid taking part in a panel discussing all these trends at the large Madrid Summit primarily focusing on the tragic anniversary of the terrorist attack on March 11 last year.

More than 200 of the best experts on these issues in the world are heading to Madrid for discussions, but it wouldn't surprise me if the panel on reforms in the Arab world is the one that will get the greatest attention.

Something is stirring - and it is important to all of us.