Arab States Weekly Review Feb 25th – March 2nd 2012

Following public pressure, Egypt brought forward presidential elections to May 23rd and 24th. Run-offs are scheduled for mid-June, with final results expected to be known June 21st.

Egypt lifted a travel ban on pro-democracy activists, including 16 Americans, who stood accused of receiving illegal funding from foreign governments. The case severely strained relations between Egypt and the United States.

The Syrian army launched a ground assault on the Baba Amr district in Homs, one of the rebel strongholds. Meanwhile, Syrians voted in a referendum on a new consitution proposed by President Assad. Widely dismissed by opposition, mostly supporters of the regime turned up to vote.

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