Arab States Weekly Review 22nd – 28th January 2011

Protests in Egypt, inspired by Tunisia and mobilised via social media, erupted in several cities including Cairo. The demonstrations call for the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for 30 years.

Large demonstrations were also seen in Sana’a, Yemen, demanding that Ali Abdullah Saleh step down as president. He too has been in power for three decades.

A fragile transitional unity government in Tunisia struggled to restore order, as riots continued throughout the country.

Najib Mikati, a self-made telecom billionaire, becames Lebanon’s prime minister with the backing of Hizbullah. The United States, France, Israel and Saudi Arabia were all worried.

Leaked discussions between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were made public on Al-Jazeera. The leaks put both sides in a bad light. The Palestianian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas is portrayed to truckling to the Israelis by offering more generous concessions than was publicly admitted.

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