Press ponders post-Mubarak future

Officials remove a portrait of Hosni Mubarak at the cabinet building in Cairo, 13 February What next after the fall of Mubarak?

Newspapers in Egypt and beyond are looking ahead to the longer-term implications of the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with a mixture of hope and trepidation.

In Egypt, the main government papers urge an end to protests and a return to normal life. In the wider region, a Palestinian paper looks forward to further revolts against the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, while an Israeli commentator urges his country to see the benefits a democratic Egypt can bring.

In Iran, which has cast the protests as inspired by its own "Islamic revolution", there is disappointment with the new rulers' conciliatory tone towards Israel and the West. Further afield, China's main paper voices concern about the dangers of further upheaval, while a commentator in Russia believes events in Egypt spell out the need for change in his own country.


Editorial in pro-government Al-Jumhuriya

"The brave army's leadership yesterday responded to some of the demands of the youth of the 25 January Revolution by dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution. The responsibility now for every citizen who is passionate about their country is to protect the general interest of the state and protect the revolution's objectives. These cannot be achieved through strikes or sit-ins, which only obstruct the people's interests."

Ahmad Sayyid Ahmad in pro-government Al-Ahram

"In the world history of revolutions, the most important thing was not the revolution itself but the post-revolution phase. Change does not take place overnight. Egypt's short-term priorities should include the orderly and secure transfer of power by the military council and all national political forces working together, to ensure that there is no return to the past and that all the people's demands are met in the long term."


Madhawi al-Rashid in Arab nationalist Al-Quds Al-Arabi

"With the demise of a dictatorship that was very close to the Saudi regime, it seems that Saudi Arabia is becoming an isolated case in the region, especially considering it stood by dead regimes from the first day of the youth revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. This is not strange, since Saudi Arabia depends on the continuation of oppressive forms of government."


Shlomo Avineri in left-of-centre Ha'aretz

"We should admire the restraint that until now has characterized both the demonstrators and the army units deployed against them. Israel should be interested in democracy in Egypt, since democracy tends to be accompanied with the repudiation of violence and belligerence. But Egypt's internal affairs are the business of its own citizens, and we would do well not to try to advise them whom and whom not to elect.


Khalid al-Hurub in pro-Fatah Al-Ayyam

"After Egypt, the revolution may continue straight away or take a respite, but it will eventually erupt in one Arab country or the other, because the causes behind the outbreak of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are the same in every Arab country. The ruling elites should not delude themselves by saying that the conditions in their countries are different."


Editorial in government-owned Tishrin

"Some may argue that priority should now be given to the restoration of stability, and that a chance be given to the military council to implement reforms gradually and carefully, and that continuing of protests may deny Egypt a return to normality. But the military council's priority should be to secure the revolution's achievements."


Editorial in hardline Keyhan

"What has been implemented by the army is a precise scenario, whose playwright is America. Egypt's army was instructed to keep a theatrical distance from Mubarak, Omar Suleiman, the police and the security forces, in order to show that it is distinct from the regime. In actual fact, it has been instructed to hijack the popular revolution and obstruct the real characteristics of the revolution, such as sovereignty, freedom and Islamism."


Omer Taspinar in centre-right Sabah

"From now on, nothing will be as it used to be in the Middle East. The revolution in Cairo last week will not just echo throughout the Arab world, but the entire world… Just as 9/11 was a breaking point between the West and Islam, 11 February will be a meeting point on which the links between the West and Arab world are reconstituted."


Commentary in state-run China Daily

The nationwide protests have taken a heavy toll on the country's social stability and economic activity. An immediate priority for the military is to crack down on violent crime and terrorism, and rapidly restore social stability. Extremists and terrorists will waste no time in exploiting Egypt's current upheaval to pursue their own agendas."


Sergey Karaganov in state-owned Rossiyskaya Gazeta

"The moral for our country is evident: An authoritarian semi-democracy is an unreliable tool, and works only if it is guided by an educated non-corrupt regime that strives for national development. Preventive steps are needed: to engage in genuine politics rather than in its imitation and, of course, to mount a serious fight against corruption, which everyone is fed up with, blocks avenues of upward mobility for the young and deprives everyone of rights."


Thomas Avenarius in left-of-centre Sueddeutsche Zeitung

The generals are running Egypt. But the people no longer want to be governed by men in uniform. So far, the coup leaders still enjoy Egyptians' confidence, but if they misuse it, citizens will go out into streets again. This revolution is not over yet. It is only just starting.

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.

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