Ever since it became known that Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa was slated to become the next secretary general of the Arab League, speculation has flourished as to why the seasoned politician was being farmed out to the prestigious but largely toothless umbrella body. In this respect, sources have told Albawaba that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been going the extra mile to get Moussa elected to the new position, so as to distance him from the Egyptian political arena. Mubarak, the sources say, is not overly enamored with the popularity that Amr Moussa enjoys at the grassroots level in Egypt.
Indeed, the urbane foreign minister is an extremely respected figure in the Arab world. To no small degree this is because, while Mubarak tends to be carefully diplomatic when dealing with the Israelis, Moussa takes a considerably more aggressive and uncompromising public position. His reputation was certainly enhanced several months back, when he forcefully presented the Palestinians’ case in a debate with Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, which was broadcast on American television. It should come as no surprise that one of the most popular Arab-language songs to have been released since the outbreak of Intifadat Al-Aqsa last September was entitled, “I love Amr Moussa, and I hate Israel.”
But why would Mubarak want to distance Moussa from the Egyptian corridors of power? It could be, sources suggest, that the president is grooming a successor, and that individual is not the foreign minister. So as not to jeopardize his chosen successor’s chances, Mubarak might be attempting to take Moussa—an obvious candidate for president—out of the leadership stakes.
It should be noted that no upheavals at the top of the Egyptian power structure appear imminent. While the president is already 73 years old, he reportedly enjoys excellent health and has no plans of slowing down his busy schedule. But, his advancing age is a factor, and the Egyptian political community has started gearing up for the post-Hosni Mubarak era.
One person who has been quick to remove his name from the leadership struggle was Jamal Mubarak, the president’s son. Several week ago he released a public statement confirming that he is not seeking to be his father’s political heir. He also expressed dismay at the rumors that had been floating around, suggesting that he sees himself as Egypt’s crown prince.
It should be noted that Moussa is a logical choice for secretary general of the Arab League—specifically at this point in time. With the Arab world striving to present a common front against Israel’s new government, led by the right-wing prime minister Ariel Sharon, the long-time Egyptian foreign minister will provide a public face that is internationally respected and eloquently spoken. – (Albawaba.com)