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Arabic press review: Algeria accuses UAE of 'suspicious moves'

Meanwhile, Egyptian political parties may suspend their activities, Jordan's unemployed doctors, and Tunisians face higher debts on school costs
UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (R) meeting with Saleh Boucha, the special envoy of the president of Algeria, at the Sea Palace in Abu Dhabi on 24 January 2023 (AFP/UAE Ministry Of Presidential Affairs)

Algeria accuses UAE of 'suspicious moves'

Official circles in Algeria have begun to note "suspicious moves" by the military attache at the UAE embassy, according to the Algerian newspaper Al-Shorouk.

"It is expected that a diplomatic crisis will erupt between Algeria and Abu Dhabi at any time because of these suspicious moves," reported the newspaper.

Foreign diplomatic sources said the Emirati attache, who holds the rank of colonel, told a diplomat in the presence of European counterparts that, in the event of a war between Algeria and Morocco, his country would stand with all its capabilities behind the Kingdom of Morocco, according to the newspaper.

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"Such talk that contradicts all diplomatic and national values has practically no weight for free Algerians, and will not lead to any confusion in Algeria," read the newspaper.

"They have prepared to confront the Zionist alliance with all its branches, axes and scenarios, and they know how to defend their country in all circumstances."

Abdelkader Bengrina, head of the National Building Movement, a participant in the Algerian government, had previously warned of the Emirati role in the region following the recent coup in Niger, and claimed that he had information regarding Tunisia's imminent normalisation with Israel after a Gulf state official visited it recently.

"Last November, the Algerian state was very upset with the UAE, due to its involvement in provoking Algeria on the occasion of the Moroccan military intervention at the time in the Guerguerat region," according to al-Shorouk.

On the official level, relations between Algeria and the UAE seem normal. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune sent a message a few weeks ago to his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, regarding bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them, according to the Emirates News Agency.

Egyptian parties may halt their activities

A number of opposition parties in Egypt have announced that they are considering freezing their activities and withdrawing from taking part in any electoral or political process, against the background of the country's violations of rights and freedoms and the abuse of opponents, according to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

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Several liberal parties, forming the Free Movement Alliance, held a press conference on Monday evening at which they criticized the arrest of the head of its board of trustees, Hisham Qassem.

The parties said that "the policies that free the hands of the security services' employees to pursue politicians and those with opposition opinion represent a grave threat to the political and economic future of the country and warn that the country will enter a more dangerous juncture".

"Maintaining rights and freedoms, foremost of which is freedom of opinion and expression, and the practice of public work are not subject to bargaining, and preserving the rights and freedoms stipulated in the constitution is the right way to save Egypt from its pitfalls and get it out of the complex crisis it is currently suffering from, and it is the only hope to achieve stability," they said.

They said the failure to release Qassem represented a clear indication of the government closing the door to any compromise with the peaceful political opposition in the country.

Political thinker Osama Al-Ghazali Harb said Qassem was being punished because of his statements against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and not because of the charges submitted against him.

"Egypt is a great country, and it is the only nation in the region, and it has its own heritage. It is time for us to take a serious stand for the establishment of a democratic regime in Egypt, and Egypt has now become marginalized and has no presence in the international or Arab arena," he said.

Families in Tunisia sink deeper into debt

Persistent high prices in Tunisia are pushing families deeper into debt as they work to find money for the return of 2.3 million students to school, according to a report published by the New Arab newspaper.

Studies in Tunisia will officially start on 15 September, but the cost of buying equipment needed for the start of term has been punishing for many.

The head of the Consumer Guidance Organisation, Lotfi Riahi, said the return to school would be very expensive this year and burdensome for the pockets of Tunisians. His organisation had monitored an increase in the cost of various supplies of between 15 percent and 18 percent compared to last year in the absence of any government intervention to curb or control prices.

Riahi said that returning to school has turned into a huge burden for families from various social strata who may have to borrow to provide for their children's needs, noting that "the high cost of school supplies is due to inflationary pressures and the lack of family income".

The price of one school booklet was 25 dinars (about $8.30), an unacceptable amount in a country where the minimum wage is 432 dinars, he said.

"Tunisian families will lose, after returning to school, what remains of their financial balances, which will increase the demand for consumer loans and raise inflation again."

The inflation rate in Tunisia in July reached 9.1 percent, according to the Government Statistics Institute.

1,500 doctors are unemployed in Jordan

The head of the media committee of the Jordan Medical Association, Hazem Al-Qarala, said that 1,500 doctors could not find job opportunities inside Jordan, and he warned of high numbers of unemployed in the field of medicine that no government could deal with, according to the local Kingdom channel in Jordan.

The number of officially registered doctors in Jordan is about 42,000, while the number of practising Jordanian doctors inside and outside the country is 27,900.

He said the number of students in medical faculties inside and outside Jordan exceeds 30,000, adding: "After five years, we will face a number of doctors registered in the Medical Syndicate that exceeds the number of practitioners."

About 2,500 to 3,000 doctors graduate annually, a number that increases each year, according to Al-Mamlaka TV.

The medical association said the country needed only around 1,100 new doctors annually, with 500 appointed in the Ministry of Health, and 500 to 600 in other sectors, adding: "If the situation remains as it is, we will face terrifying numbers of unemployment in medicine."

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