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Cablegate: Follow-Up Media Coverage of President Bush's Visit

VZCZCXRO7846
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0099 0221422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221422Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7932
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS CAIRO 000099

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO EG
SUBJECT: FOLLOW-UP MEDIA COVERAGE OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT

REF: CAIRO 0065

1. (SBU) Following a week of negative media coverage, from
government, opposition and independent newspapers alike, in
the lead up to President Bush's January 16 visit to Egypt,
all Egyptian TV channels - government and satellite -
carried the joint POTUS-Mubarak press conference live and
provided straightforward coverage as the lead prime time
news story on January 16. Television talk shows that
evening featured extensive discussion of the visit with
political analysts but also replayed images from Israeli
attacks in Gaza on January 16.

2. (SBU) Pro-government print media coverage highlighted
President Bush's praise of Egypt's political reform,
economic openness, and positive role of women, as well as
President Mubarak's statement that the Palestinian issue is
the key to regional peace and stability. Negative
headlines appeared in the independent and sensationalist
press. Leading independent daily Al Masry Al Yom described
the summit as "cold," and highlighted public protests
against the visit in Cairo and other Egyptian governorates.
Protesters accused the Egyptian regime of "complacency
with U.S and Zionist policy, aimed at shedding the blood of
Arabs."

3. (SBU) On January 20, Al-Ahram carried an interview of
the Ambassador with Salama Ahmed Salama which highlighted
the success of the visit and the agreement between
President Bush and President Mubarak to "manage
disagreements." The same pro-government newspaper on
January 18 carried a piece by Osama Saraya who argued that
President Bush's visit underscored Egypt's continuing
importance in regional affairs.

4. (SBU) Commentaries in all papers ranged from a neutral
discussion of the bilateral relationship to a broad
criticism of U.S. policy in the region, such as by
editorialist Mohamed Abul Hadid in Al Gomhouriya: "Bush
wants Arab support in continuing to occupy Iraq, attacking
Iran, pressuring Palestinians, helping the American
treasury by buying its weapons, and adopting the American
life of democracy, etc. However, when we make a single
request for the U.S. to pressure Israel to evacuate from
Palestinian territories, he says he cannot. In fact, he
would not."
Ricciardone

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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