Tunisian and Egyptian Presidents Meet
Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki met Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo Friday, where the two spoke jointly on improving bilateral ties, aiding Syrians, and supporting Palestinians. The leaders both stressed their concern for Syria and their desire to work towards a diplomatic solution, but both agreed a military intervention was inappropriate. Marzouki also said he was glad to see Egypt would be opening its borders to “our brothers… in Gaza,” although President Morsi did not elaborate on that point. Marzouki underscored his commitment strong ties with Egypt as part of what he called a new era of Arab cooperation. Additionally, President Marzouki is also slated [French] to visit French President François Holland next week to reportedly “erase” tensions between the two countries.
Also, the mother of Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor who immolated himself at the start of the Arab Spring, has been arrested for assaulting a court official. Manoubia Bouazizi reportedly went to the court to have papers signed to receive government compensation given to the families of martyrs, and got into a minor altercation with a court clerk when she refused to help her.
Meanwhile in neighboring Algeria, Atef Kadadra writes on the unusual delay in the formation of Algeria’s new government. With two months now elapsed since legislative elections last May, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has yet to announce any of his appointments for the next government. Several traditional dates for making such announcements have passed, and with many ministers going on their annual leave this month, it is unlikely that any government will be formed by the end of the summer. Internal sources also state that Bouteflika has not yet discussed potential appointments with any of his traditional allies, including his party the National Liberation Front or the National Rally for Democracy. Some believe Bouteflika may be prolonging the decisions to test the parties.