Protest in Egypt: world-view

A round-up of some of the best comment and analysis so far.

As protests continue in Egypt, here is a selection of the wide-ranging opinions that have been expressed in the UK, US and Middle Eastern press.

Zaineb al-Assam, head of Middle East and North Africa forecasting at Exclusive Analysis, gives an assessment to Reuters (31 January) about the likelihood of further protest in the Middle East.

Amira Nowaira, professor of English literature at Alexandria University, writes in the Guardian (31 January) that the Egyptian people refuse to be "cowed" by the regime's desperate measures to enforce submission.

Amr Shalakany, associate professor of law at the American University in Cairo, writes in the Guardian (30 January) that the revolution is independent of "any political party" or the Muslim Brotherhood.

A Jerusalem Post editorial (31 January) takes the opposite view:

Besides the Muslim Brotherhood or political parties taken over by it, there is not a single significant organised political movement in Egypt that can muster a large enough constituency to present a coherent alternative to the present regime.

In an article by Will Englund, writing in the Washington Post (31 January), the Muslim Brotherhood argues that it is only a "bit player" in the resistance.

Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Jordan and vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in the Observer (30 January):

Unless Arab leaders, who so far are reluctant to give up their absolute power and lives of privilege, take immediate steps to improve democratic and political rights, the Arab world is destined for more crises.

Oliver Miles, a diplomat who has served extensively in the Middle East and North Africa, writes in the Independent (30 January) that "it is encouraging that" we are hearing "voices of Christians and Muslims; scarcely a sign of political extremism dressed up as Islam".

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.