A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fiqi for the Arab League?

The Arabist deconstructs the "new" Egyptian government's nominee for Secretary-General of the Arab League, Mustafa al-Fiqi. Except for the post-Camp David years when Egypt was ostracized from the League, the SG has always been an Egyptian. The sole non-Egyptian was Tunisian Chedli Klibi in 1979-1990, when Egypt was in the Wilderness.

But, ineffectual as the League of Arab States may be, it is still a major symbolic force, and Egypt wants to maintain its dominant role. Current Secretary-General ‘Amr Moussa has already announced his candidacy as President of Egypt (and he may well be emerging as the Establishment favorite). Other countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar) would love to claim the job, but so much is in flux in Egypt, it is hard to rate the chances. Fiqi is hardly a grass roots revolutionary candidate, however.

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