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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Mideast press focus on Rice visit
Middle East Press

As US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flies in for talks, many commentators in the Middle East believe she will do little to change Israel's strategy in Lebanon.

One Arab commentator warns Ms Rice that deploying international peacekeepers in Lebanon may only create more problems, while others accuse the Bush administration of using Israel to push its agenda for wider change in the Middle East.

A commentator in the most widely-read Israeli paper, Yediot Aharonot, believes Ms Rice will encourage Israel to continue its attacks on Hezbollah, although a writer in Ma'ariv gives a cautious welcome to the idea of an international peacekeeping force.

ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN LONDON-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Condoleezza Rice will put the deployment of NATO forces [in southern Lebanon] at the top of her agenda during her Middle East visit. If the US administration believes that it can impose the view of the Jewish state by adopting its political agenda without consultations or a political settlement on the root cause of the Palestinian issue, then it is wrong. It and the other countries involved in forming the NATO force will end up facing a new war similar to the one in Iraq.

GHASSAN SHARBIL IN LONDON-BASED AL-HAYAT

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reads events in the region purely from her administration's viewpoint, which believes it is dangerous for renegade countries or terrorist organizations to possess any kind of arsenal. When Rice comes to this difficult part of the world, its people must remind her of their feelings about her country's policies in the region.

MOHAMMED KHEIR AL-JAMALI IN SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

The savage Israeli aggression and the American-Israeli view that it can only be stopped if the Lebanese resistance is dismantled chimes with Condoleezza Rice's concept of a new Middle East. Clearly, America has made Israel its main partner in the process of building this new Middle East. The means adopted to implement this process is this aggressive insanity that burns everything in its path, as is the case in Lebanon.

COMMENTARY IN IRAN'S SHARQ

To reach the objectives of its Greater Middle East Plan, America is trying to achieve regime change in Lebanon, Syria and even Iran. It needs to have a military presence in Iraq and launch political reform in the countries of its Arab friends. All of this will make the region as easy to control as possible in terms of managing the world's energy sources.

EDITORIAL IN LONDON-BASED AL-ARAB AL-ALAMIYAH

Arabs need to revive their feeling of solidarity, because the US project to subjugate the Middle East will affect every Arab country. Arab silence on this crisis not only contributes to giving Israel the green light to continue killing thousands of innocent people, but also makes it easy for it to repeat this kind of operation and demand greater concessions.

EDITORIAL IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ignores the scale of losses among the Lebanese civilians caused by the continuing air raids, and says that the bombardment must continue against the cities and Lebanese villages, she is setting a precedent that no one ever dared set before.

SIMA KADMON IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

Make no mistake: The Israel Defence Force has all the time in the world. The secretary of state is not coming to put pressure on the Israel government to declare a cease-fire. On the contrary, she is coming to make sure that things are going well, that we are not missing this opportunity to be the long, strong arm of the US. As far as Israel is concerned, Rice is someone it can run with.

DR DORE GOLD IN ISRAEL'S MA'ARIV

There are many possibilities on the agenda, including talk about stationing international forces more significant than those which were stationed there in the past and clearly failed. The new security arrangements must increase the security of northern Israel, and not replace the Hezbollah problem with factors of instability from other parts of the Middle East.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is


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