Middle East

Mid-East media suspicious of Egyptian military promise

Field Marshal Tantawi
Image caption Field Marshal Tantawi went on national TV to promise a speedier hand-over to civilian rule

Many commentators in the Middle Eastern media voice suspicion of the Egyptian military promise to speed up the transfer of power to civilian rule, following days of deadly clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Some writers suggest Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi's promises - made in a live television address - will defuse the political crisis in Egypt. However, others suspect that the military is merely buying time in which to ensure its political dominance.

An editorial in the state-run daily Al-Jumhuriyah says promise of a transfer of power to a civilian administration and formation of a national salvation government could "defuse a serious crisis that threatens the future of the revolution and the country".

But it warns of "a looming confrontation" between the revolutionary forces and other forces that "do not want the revolution to succeed".

Isma'il Ibrahim, writing in Egypt's Al-Ahrar daily, denounces the handling of the protests and calls for those responsible to be put on trial. He says the shooting of protesters equates to an "Israeli raid on Tahrir Square".

Egyptian opposition activist Isra Abd-al-Fattah on al-Arabiya TV

I object to any meeting with the military council before it admits full responsibility for what happened and offers an official apology. We will not accept the usual "we are sorry for what happened"… The government of national salvation is not for the military council to form.

Presidential candidate Abdallah al-Ash'al on Al-Jazeera TV

What the field marshal said, firstly, was not credible because previous promises have been broken. The speech as a whole could not be accepted because he did not address what was taking place in the [Tahrir] square and what was happening right now.

Alex Fishman in Israel's Yediot Aharonot

Yesterday we saw the real face of the Egyptian military leadership… a tired face, devoid of any vision, the face of an old field marshal on whose lot it fell to lead his people during the most critical moments in its modern history, but he is incapable and does not know how to do this.

He and the generals subordinate to him are seized with some kind of paralysis, touched with disappointing political impotence. Those are the people the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian street will throw out of power at the first opportunity. Anyone in Israel, the United States or any other Western society who believes that the military junta in Egypt will bring salvation to the region is dreaming.

Zuhayr Majid in Oman's Al-Watan

In Tahrir Square the youth gather to decide their future… This is the Egyptian spirit which cherishes freedom and will not accept anything less.

Ala al-Aswani in Lebanon's Al-Safir

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is adopting policies that will eventually lead to reproducing the regime of Mubarak instead of building a just and respectable system… What the Supreme Council did not understand is that people after the revolution have been freed of fear and will not give in to injustice. We have to unite in order to save the revolution.

Nahid Hattar in Jordan's Al-Arab al-Yawm

The secular protesters have one demand, which is the transfer of power to a government of national salvation which represents all strands and which establishes a national democratic phase… This is the pivotal demand of the Arab Spring in Egypt as well as in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, the Gulf and Jordan.

Editorial in Qatar's Al-Rayah

Tantawi's speech is expected to deflate the crisis and normalise relations once more between political powers and the ruling military council.

Qasim Husayn in Bahrain's Al-Wasat

He who ousted Hosni Mubarak will oust the remainder of his regime and put them in prison.

Umar al-Umar in UAE's Al-Bayan

After nine months the revolutionaries have become aware of the trick the generals used to obstruct the revolution and move its achievement from Tahrir Square to the military barracks. The generals actually executed a double coup: one against the president and one against the revolution. A return to Tahrir Square represents a retrieval of the revolution from the military barracks.

Davud Mohammadi in Iran's Sharq

The military men are hoping that, by setting aside Egypt's most influential military figure and by combining this move with the sweet promise of transferring power, they can buy time again and think of a way of expanding their grip on politics.

Gholamreza Qalandariyan in Iran's Qods

The Egyptian people created the revolution to cast off their shackles and decide their own future… The military is now trying to deviate from the path of revolution by taking orders from the supporters of the past regime… They should not forget that the people have suffered financial and personal losses for these Islamic aspirations and are now ready to pay every price to defend their ideals - they won't allow those who are dependent on foreigners to control Egyptian affairs.

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 based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.