Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Egypt goes Nuclear; Saudi goes for Peace, and Israel for Technology

Here are three articles related to regional events not directly related to Lebanon and the war we witnessed this summer, but that have important reprocutions for Lebanon and its development.
The First Article, highlights a takeover by software giant Microsoft of an Israeli IT company specializing in easy-to-use networking software. According to the article:
The acquisition of Gteko is part of Microsoft's strategic decision to turn Microsoft Israel into a research and development center for the international firm. Moshe Lichtman, one of the company's senior executives, will oversee the R&D operations in the country.

Microsoft's history in Lebanon dates back approximately eight years to when the government at the time implemented stringent anti-privacy laws in order lure international firms into investing in the country. More recently, Microsoft was one of the first companies to flee Lebanon after the flaring of hostilities this past summer.
The Second Article, highlights what seems to be important progress on the Middle East front as secret talks between high ranking Saudi and Israeli officials or contacts were leaked in the Israeli press. The talks centered around the Saudi Peace initiative endorsed by the 2002 Arab Summit held in Beirut. The wide-reaching initiative calls for Israel's return to its pre-1967 border in return for peace with all Arab countries, simultaneously. Despite receiving significant White House support at the time of its proposal, the initiative failed to generate a response from the Israeli government of the time, headed by Ariel Sharon.
The Third Article, deals with a speech given by Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak's son, on Egypt's desire to 'eventually' build nuclear power facilities. Although the statement has been widely dismissed as crude electioneering for a domestic audience, the article indicates that Egypt could move to secure an agreement with Western countries for the supply and disposal of the nuclear fuel needed to run any future nuclear facilities with little hassle. Such a move would come serve as a counterbalance to the growing Iranian influence spreading over the region.
Update
The BBCNews website is reporting that Turkey also plans to pursue nuclear power facilities. According to the article, Turkey plans on building 3 nuclear power plants by 2015, while Egypt plans on only building one. Read more...
Update
Isreali Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres urged Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, to publicly engage Israel if it wanted to play a wider, political role in the Middle East and if it wanted to advance its 2002 Peace Initiative. Read more...

5 comments:

  1. Microsoft's history in Lebanon dates back approximately eight years to when the government at the time implemented stringent anti-privacy laws in order lure international firms into investing in the country. More recently, Microsoft was one of the first companies to flee Lebanon after the flaring of hostilities this past summer.

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    If implementing stringent anti-privacy laws is the trick here then i bet that if only Microsoft knew how many pirated copies of Windows are circulating in Israel they would have immediately fled Israel too.

    On another hand probably the most significant economic event of this year in Israel was nt 110 million US dollars paid by Microsoft to buy another Israel's hitech company but 4 billion dollars paid by Warren Buffet for lowtech Lehavey Iscar, a manufacturer of blades used to make of cars and airplanes. -->

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  2. Teapot1:41 PM

    Interesting chart:
    http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/charting_freedom_vs_oil.php

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  3. Haha, that chart was a joke.

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  4. not anti privacy - anti piracy!!

    hehehe

    privacy laws are generally regimes implemented with nations that are trying to do one of two things:

    (a) formalise the tort.. it has long been a matter of debate as to whether or not it in fact existed.. interestingly in countries where privacy legislation has been enacted - cases have sometimes followed independently establishing the right to privacy and bridging gaps where the laws failed to go..

    (b) aligning with the european directives that really have set a bit of a global standard - as have the europeans now done with the use of hazardous materials through their WEEE and RoHS campaigns..

    anti piracy on the other hand is basically a tightening of copyright law enforcement.. which means cracking down on companies who copy or use software without paying the due fees to the companies that have developed the software or who are licensed to resell it (put very simply)..

    if you go to tghe world bank site you will notice that licensing is now a metric for market friendliness and the BSA www.bsa.org has spent millions of microsoft dollars to promote the issue worldwide..

    i hope this helps..

    :)

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  5. Thanks for the head's up Lirun :)

    I remember reading that bit as 'anti-piracy' myself...must've been subconscious, but good comment nonetheless!

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