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Egyptian media coverage of US-Iranian talks on Iraq 29 May 07

BBC Monitoring

Following is a report on Egyptian media coverage of US-Iranian talks on Iraq on 29 May 07


    Egyptian Channel 1 TV

    Channel 1 TV focused on the current meetings between the Egyptian side and the Palestinian factions in Cairo and the latest development in the Palestinian territories and Israel.

    In its 0700 gmt news headlines, broadcast at the top of the hour, Channel 1 started as usual with activities of President Husni Mubarak followed by the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and Israel.

    The Iranian-US talks, was the sixth story and it was merely factual. The announcer-read report focused on the US ambassador's statements following the meeting. There was a video clip showing the US ambassador speaking to reporters while the presenter was reading the news. It also carried a video clip on the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad speaking after the meeting. The channel said that he described the talks as "positive". The report also showed a video clip of the Iranian ambassador speaking after the meeting.

    In the 0800 gmt headlines, Channel 1 also started with the president's activities followed by results of the Syrian referendum and the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and Israeli operations and other world stories including Sudan. But there was no mention of the US-Iranian talks this time.

    The story came fifth on the channel's news bar.

     Nile News TV

    In the 0800 gmt news bulletin, Nile News TV highlighted the Israeli operations against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The US-Iranian meeting was the ninth item on the bulletin. The channel described the meeting as "unprecedented". The story was accompanied by a report talking about the outcome of the meeting. First, the announcer read the story then the TV carried a four-minute video report by correspondents in Iraq. The report included parts of the meeting and part of the statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. The report also included a brief interview with an Iraqi MP who said: "This diplomatic success will restart the broken-down political machine between Iran and the USA". The report then talked about violence in Baghdad.

    The story was the second item on the news bar and the caption read: "Washington and Tehran agree on backing the government of Maliki in face of violence and sectarianism".



    Voice of the Arabs

    Voice of the Arabs Radio did not mention the story in its 0500 gmt news bulletin. It usually broadcasts viewpoints by political analysts and correspondents' reports from world countries in the second part of its morning news programme. However, it made no mention of the story and it only focused on the ongoing talks in Cairo with Palestinian factions, under Egyptian sponsorship.




    Al-Ahram, a pro-government newspaper, with the largest circulation, carried a front page report of the story. However it was the second headline and the main story was about the talks with Palestinian factions in Cairo. The report was short with a bold headline reading: "At a historic meeting in Baghdad, the USA asks Iran to stop backing militias ... Tehran proposes a three-way security mechanism". A sub headline reads: "The two sides exchange accusations on violence and a second meeting is expected within a month".

    The language reflects that the paper backs and welcomes the Iranian-US talks as the leading sentence of the report said: "The diplomatic boycott between the USA and Iran which lasted for about 27 years ended yesterday with a historic meeting between the two countries' delegations". The rest of the report was factual as it quoted news agencies. The report also carried a picture from AP showing the two delegations at the meeting.



    Al-Jumhuriyah newspaper, which is also pro-government, carried the story in its inside pages, exactly on page 10. The headline reads: "A US-Iranian agreement on a unified Iraq; violence claims 72 people". The report was factual and divided into two parts. The first part tackles the talks, quoting news agencies, and the second part was on the latest violence in Iraq. The report included two pictures: The first shows the two delegations at the meeting, while the second shows two Iraqi soldiers in Iraq searching a car.


     Al-Misri al-Yawm

    Al-Misri al-Yawm newspaper, which is an independent paper, carried a report of the story in Page 12. The report was factual as it quoted news agencies. The headline reads: "Baghdad: US-Iranian meeting for the first time in 27 years to discuss security situation". The report included a picture of the meeting from AFP.

    Other independent and opposition newspapers carried the story on their inside pages or made no mention of it at all.

    Source: BBC Monitoring research in English 29 May 07



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