Inheritance talks overshadow Mubarak’s US visit

President Hosni Mubarak's decision to bring his son Gamal along for peace negotiations in Washington has been met by criticism in some US political circles.

“Bringing along his son, who has no official capacity, is a big mistake,” said US former deputy national security advisor Elliott Abrams, adding that many Egyptians would find this an attempt to force Gamal onto the international political scene.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy issued a report on Tuesday that described the possibility of succession, and the US stance toward it, as placing Egypt at a “crossroad”.

The report also said that recent political and constitutional developments in Egypt clearly point to President Mubarak’s intention to have his son succeed him, adding that Gamal would seek to increase his legitimacy by adopting certain popular foreign policies.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said Tuesday Gamal Mubarak is meeting with Israeli negotiators, possibly including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself. Haaretz said evidence suggests that by bringing Gamal to Washington, President Mubarak is grooming his son to succeed him.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Egyptian-American Organizations decided to cancel demonstrations it had planned to hold during Mubarak’s visit. The coalition will instead hold a press conference Wednesday where they plan to press President Barack Obama to support democracy and stability in Egypt.

The coalition warned of an Egyptian security threat if the regime does not carry out certain political reforms.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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