asl and South Asia Rein
Syria: Reaction to Palestinian Unreal in Israeli-Occupied Te rri torlts aJMBj
Syria maintains thai the receni unrest in the IsraelWeil Bank and Can Strip vindicate! its hardline position on thc Arab-Israeli issue. Damascus has encouraged the unrest by giving il full propaganda support and urging its Palestinian surrogates to do thc same. Syria's *nti-Pulesiinian actions in recent year, however, will lessen lis effect in the occupied territories, i
Palestinian terrorist attacks ouisRTc lhe Middle East decreasedui incidenis wlihln Israel and ihe occupied territories as well as attempted 'aids into Isratl increased. Palestinian activists still believe terrorism is an effective way to focus attention on ibeir grievances and hurl Israel and its supporter
Lebanon: Dany Chamoun's Presidential Aspiration*
of ihc National Libarsl Partyerennial presidential candidate, Dany Chumounront-runner among the growing number of presidential hopeful* in Lebanon'slection. To increase his popular support, Chamoun isolitical platform and contacts independent of theLiberal
Islamic fandamcnlalisrn. under the banner of the Islamic Tendency Movement, represents thc largest political threat to the government of President Zinc El Abkline Bob Ali. Ben AH has shown bynitial actions lhal he intends toore imaginative and effective policy for dealing with the fundansentBlisis.aatH
Castouth Asia Retievi
Reaction to Palestinian Unrest in Israeli-Occupied Territories
The recent unrest In the Imcli-oecupied Wen Bank and Gaza Stripotilive development for Syria, which argues the "uprising"u hardline posilion on the Arab-Israeli issue. Syria has encouraged the unrest by giving it full propaganda support and urging iu Palestinian surrogate* to do the same. It is unlikely, however, that Syria will have much effect in the occupied territories, because it lacks thr resources to significantly influence events there andil-Palestinian actions In recent years have eroded Syrian credibility!
'by Assad's government may appease antlrcgimc sentiments among Palestinians arising from the current situation, i
By allowing extensive media coverage or the disturbances. President Hafirval-Assad is forced toalancingnsure that his wholehearted approval of the recent violence will not result in sympathy demonstrations in Syria or Stfian-occupicd Lebanon that could spill over Into pto-Palcaiinc Liberation Organisation (PLO) demonstrations expressing discontent withpposition toeader Yasir Arafat
aitormadc for Syria
The unrest in the Isracli-oocupicd territoriesimely Messing for Syria, which Damascus is exploiting to theutmotl. An editorial in the official Ba'ih newspaperanuary presenting ihc
iew of thc "uprising" explains how lhe disturbances cupporl Syria's posilion on the Arab-Kracli confrontation:
Afterears, "ihc spirit of resistance is alive" and "the myth of Israeli security has been shaitercd."Problems oHsraeli occupation arc not limitedhe territories sciicd7 but extend within8 borders of Israel."
ThCtrue liberationrevealed the Palestiniano be the essence of
/ the struggle in the area.
The people in Ihe occupied lands reject bargaining based on "surrender"
Thc'.'murders and expulsions" by Israeli authoritiescampaign of genocide.'" repealing the true face of Ihc Israeli Government, which now is condemned worldwideracistccused of crimes against humanity.)
As Syria has always argued that the con fron ta lion igainst Israel should be the paramount issue in the world, it views lhe current violencepportunity to concentrate Pan-Arab attention on the struggle and away from other issues occupying Ihc Arabihai do not coincide wiih Syrian policy interests, In particular, by deflecting Arab League aiieniion from the Iran-Iraq war and Syria's recent setbacks at Iht Amman summit meeting.
Asiad mi) hopeetain hit formerre in ihc Arab uorld and per hawnoifween allowing fain io back away from commitments made ai the summit meeting. By attempting io focu> all eyes on lhe occupied terriioriet and depicting itself ait the iiandaid bearer of the Palestiniania hopes io continue receiving financial assistance for iu ailmg economy wiihoui fulfillirg the pledget ii relucianily made lo Arab benefactors in Amman.
Fanning lbc Flaavr* of Unrest To ensure lhal Arab attention remains focused on tbe current uprising. Syria win undoubtedly continue to flood tbe media wiih inflammatory propaganda both domestically and in ihe occupied territories Since lhe disturbances began in earlyyrians have been subjected to unremitting coverage of the situation, with particular emphasis on:
Tbcday situation in the occupied territories, including numerous eaaggcraied account! of Israeli vicjlencc.
rab support for the uprising and condemnation of Israel. Egypt, in particular, ha* been singled out with extensive reporting on sympathy dcrsuanauatkorts held in Cairo by students and lawyers This is intended lo support the Syrian ccmicnuoa that Ihc Cgyptian masses nam to rise against ihcir "repressive" government lo force ihc repudiation of the Camp David accord.
Foreign media coverage of the violence, wiih special emphasis on the worldwide condemnation of Israel's "brutal tactics.-
Actions taken by thc Uruled Nations and renewed discussions on the danger on <mpIicai>ons of lbc USTsraeli strategic alliance for ihc Arab world
The uprising provides Syria with an opportunity to reasserl Us position that the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conlkl rs armed confrontation'because Israel has made no sincere effort tooliiical solution In addition io broadcasiiag preoaganda. Syria may prove ihis contention by using its Palestinian surrogates to support agitators in the occupied territories lo escalate or at least maintain Ihe cuircnl levels Qf unrest. Pro-Syrian Palestinian leader -Colonel Abu Mesa, for eaamplr. hat called publicly for lhe itsobiliraiion ol the "Palestinian National Forces" iViupport the uprising. Israeli television claims ihat some of the "small terrorist orgoniradons" linked to Syria arc seeking ways to infiltrate arms into lhe demonstrations. Despite these' ' yria and most of lis surrogates have few asscis ihey can es plait to Influence events in the occupied territories- It is unlikely this situationhange in the near terra, as Assad's influence in Palestinian circles remains constrained by his anli-Arafat policies. Only lhe pro-Syrian Popular Front for lhe Liberation of Palestine has dozens ol ualncd activists in ihc territories, and ihey could Ignite the situation through terrorrsi-type activities should ihey so desire. Relations bclween Syria and the popular Front foPthe Liberation of Palestine have been strained recently, however, because of the fron is contacts with
Assad'she possibility that his extensive propaganda campaign moy result in destabilizing domestic unrest among ihcalestinians residing In Syria is
forcing Asiad lo ban all dcinonsiruiions nmanctioned and controlled by ihc gin-cmmcm. Ollicial governmcni organs such as ihc Syr inn Pcis-mii' L'nion and the General Union of Craftsmen have expressed verbal support for the upri>(ng. The Arab Writer's Union has been permittedrganize cultural activities in support of Palestinians in the occupied territories, bui, all requests to hold laige-scale demonstrations have been denied b> Syrian officials: *
Stria villi undoubtedly take funhciollify *cwimcnis aroused by Sarin's ami-Pales)jctions Wc believe Syria was behind Amal leader Nabih Barri's mid-January announcement declaring an end to the camps "ar in Lebanonesture io eipress solidariiy with ihc uprising ia the occupied territories This more is intended to iecreaK Syria's rcpauiion as the leader of the Palestinian straggle and delesalestinians from criticizing Assad lor impeding thc uprising despite bis brutal restrictionsLO activities in Lebanon. The ihrcc-ycar-otd camps war has leftead and deeply damaged Syrian legitimacy ins.
Because Syrracnnnot control the uprising. Assad will be unable to formulate oetivc iiri..gics and will rely on merely reacting To cvcnii in ihc occupied territories. Although wc do notoosening of restrictions on pro-Arafal Palestinians. Assad undoubtedly will remain Reiible in other respects in .ordererve his best Interests. One option Assad may employ is encouraging pro-Syrian Palestiniansttach (be security zone in southern Lebanon and northern Israel to demonstrate solidariiy with the cause Tbis would increase Syrian prestige and 'arther addssad's claims of Syrian preeminence in ibe confrontation wiih Israel.7 pro-Syrian Palestinian* made ai least threenfiltrate northern Israel. The most successful, ihe hang-glider attack by the Popular Fronl for the Liberation of .Palestine-General Command onovember, which rsia Israelis, helped spark the current unrest in, the lerritoei
Palestinian terrorist iHacksoUUMl the Middle bail decreased'. bul incidcnu within Israel and the occupied leriiior.rs asas si tempted raids into Israel increased The decrease in Palestinian leneosm ouiiidc lhe Middle East was caused primarily b> lhe debilitating elTect of (he Palestinian camps war in Lebanon, Ihe deterrent of Western sanctions on stales supporting Palestinian (errortsrs. and %ccurity meatares lhatat tcasiomplicated terrorist operations, particularly in "traditional" West European locations (
Drapiic the respite fiom Palestinian icrroritl IpectacaUrs. Palestinian activists have not forsaken terrorism. They stillt ii an effective way to focut attention on their grievances, obstruct unacceptable solutions to the Arab- Uraeli conflict.'nd hurt Israel and Its supporters Wc believe lhat several of the more radical Palestinian groups ma> be priming their organizationsesargencerorist activity, primarily against Israeli, US/and te Arab largets both within and bcyono the
Restraint lleyond (he Middle East Several factors contributedhe decline inalestinian terrorist atlacks outside the.Mideie
A lack of progress In the peace processacks by Palestinians opposed to negotiations
Intensified fighting in Lebanon to defend
Palntinian refugee camps monopolized lhe
resourcesern ion of most Palestinian groups,
istraction from terror isl operations Most
Paieatiiran factions have becomen ihe
Lebancie dispute, concentrating iheir resources on
para mi itary activities and consolidating their
n the refugee camps.
Syria, on? of the principal Arab patrons of radical Pilesii-isis almost certainlyand in curtailing Palestinian terrorist attacks outside ihc Middlet (east during ihe first liaif
Damascui fuobjbl)eduction ofutside ihc region after ihc public revelation uf ii* involvement tn Ihe attempted bombing of tinlight mi London! Heathrow Atrpoel inh Libra probabl) louered the vitibililS nf il> vu resort for terrorism following public disclosure of Hi iavcu*cmcnl Un several raajor attack)nd
the subsojueni US anstrikes on Tripoli and
Motend Westmeasures probablygroupt^to weigh more carefully iheaiiack nraBBBsa I
Closures and Expulsions
In the summer7 two of ihc most dangerous Palestinian terrorist groups apparently suffered logistic setbacks. In early June facilities of thc Abu Nidal Organiialion were closed, and the group's known operatives were expelled from Syria. Before the expulsion. Damascus served as the group's principal sponsor and hosl.-The Syrian action almost certainly disrupted thc group's activities,elocation to sites in Lebanon and elsewhere in ihe Middle East and cutting off access to Damascus airport, the departure point for many/eccnt Abu Nidal terrorist*
Fatah security otneial Colonel tlawari, terrorist apparatus wai responsible for the bombingWA flight over Greece6 ihai killed four US citizens. was^cxpWled from his Baghdad headquarters in June. Al lhc end7 ibere were signs lhat Ha wan was seeking lo relocate his Iraqi basedlargely una fleeted by the espulsior.andew operational hesoqeancrs somewhere in the Middle East. Hawari has been refused residence in Algeria and North Yemen, despite the reported Intervention of Pae Liberal lor- Organization Chairman Wire Arafat on his behalf. Meanwhile, Hawari is using Yugoslavia as his base and continues io travelmivcly throughoul ihe Middle
iheir capabilities to launch major terrorist aliucks in ihehalfhey also mas have limited terrorist atlacks lhal could nuke ihem the-focus of negative publicity and deter potential hosts.
The bombing.in March of lhc Cafeestaurant in Djibouti ftequcnicd by French rutionals, was one of Ihe most spectacular Palestinian terrorist attacks of the year. The bombing, probably conducted by ike Popular Struggle Front with Libyan sor-eott. kitedersons including me French soldiers Thc choeeestern target in Eastdditional evidence that Palestinian groups arc locking to operate in new areas, including Africa. Ai.i. and even North America.
The Judgment Year
Tbc pastonths also witnessed the trials of Palestinians responsible for some of the most devastating aiiacaa5
The trial of the sole surviving terrorist of the Abu Nidal Organization's attack at Rome's Fiumidno Airport i") opened in Decemberunder lighl security inside an Italian maximum security prison Thc assault by four terrorists of the Abu Nidal Organizationersons and
ptinish cuun vcnicnccd Pjlcxlinitin tcrroritl Nassar Huun el- Alimprisonment for an attempted tombingl airlines al Madrid'* Baraias Airpori inassan claimed ioember of ihc Damascus-based Abu Musa group. Thai alack injured II persons and caused SI million in properly damage.
In mid-July lhe trial of five tcnorisis of the Abu Nidal Organization accused of (he attempted hijacking of Pan American Fllfciiln6 in Karachi opened in Pakistan. Twenty-one persons died andthers wcie injured in lhe foiled hijacking. The irial is still in progress. We anticipate all defcndenls will be convicted.
Onuly an Italian court sentenced suspected Abu Nidal Organization terrorist Husayn Abu Scrcjaycar jail lerm for lhe grenade attack in5 againsi the Cafe de Paris in Rome in whichersons were Injured. Thc court charged him with massacre and illegal weapons possession and ruled that he be expelled from Italy once his sentence Is cortTpleicd
An Italian appeals court upheld Ihc scnicnce^/bfihc Palestine Liberation From members convicted in thc Achillc Lauro hijacking and sentenced one more defendant in absentia to life Imprisonment in May.eparate decision, Ihc courts upheld the lenience of Bassam al-Ashker, ihc so-called baby tercorau. Increasing his sentence slightly loears In prison.
On JIlennu court sentencedmembers of ihe Abu Nidal Organiraiion to life imprisonment for the aii-ick on Vienna* Sehweehai Ajrpon inhe grenade and muchincgun attack agamii ihc fcl Al counter al tbe airport killed lour persons, including one terrorisi. and iijurcd at leastthers akatV # J
Tbe unusually intense wave of Paksiintaa violence in ihc Wen Bank sad Cars Strip thai erupted ia December highlighted underlying tension- and growing frustrations among Palestinians. These confrontations, which have forced most Arab sines lo concenirair on Arab-Israel) issues, may increase the likelihood ihat Palestinians will resume terrorist auackx in ihc coming months Tbe radical Arab stales undoubtedly will eintoii the reawakened Palestinian-Israeli tension for ihcir own gain and may support and even urge Palestinians to Uunch terrorist snacks. Inaddition, the recent positive reactions In many parts of ihe Arab world to succesilul ami-Israeli attacks, such "as the widespread jubilant response to the hang-gliderserve in fuel I'iktllninn terrorism
Lebanon: Dany Chamoun's Presidential Aspirations mm
Chamoun. leader of Lebanon's National Liberal Partyerennial presidential candidate,ront-runner among lhe growing number of presidential hopefuls in Lebanon'selection In an aitcmpl to emerge from the political shade* cast by his father, forme/ President Cnmille Chamoun. and widen his base of popular support. Dany Chamoun isoliiical platform and contacts independent of lhe National Liberal Parly. .
Chamoun's path to the presidency will be rife with problems. His hardline Christian attitude and political concessions to the Lebanese Forces militia may make him an unacceptable candidate to most Muslim groups in Lebanon. Chamoun's past ami-Syrian rhetoric also may make him an unacceptable choice lowillajor role in/lroflen pro-Israeli stance may -in him infltenlta+supporl IromalanaV
Comlng Into HbhPS/
Thc National Liberal Party, ihe second largest Maronitc party, was founded by Camillc Chamounis death in1 removed the most cohesive, driving force behind the psrty. To broaden his own political appeal and support. Danjs^ii^mpting loore mcdcraic line lhanraditional National Liberal Party pluiform. Dany. Camillc's younger son, is opanding his contacts wiih other Lebanese political factions and expressing his. opinionide varleiy of
Contacts In tht Lebanese Dynamic Chamoun's contacts within Ihc Christian communiiy and with Lebanon's prominent families are well established on both personal and poliiical levels! Fueled by ihe traditional nemayel-Chamoun family rivalry, Chamoun has been an outspoken critic of President Gemayel Chamoun has close access io Acting Prime Minister Salim til Mm. as well as io other Cabinet members,
n addition. Chamoun has personal ties lo Druze warlord and Cabinet Minister Walid Junblatt, founded on the Chamoun's familial, tics to lbc Druze-coniroiled Shuf region.
Among Dany Chamoun's top priorities is improving his carefully cultivated relationship wiih thc militant Lebanese Forces nijiltia. Although not formally involved in ibe political process, ihe Lebanese Forces has )osilioncd itselfowerful performer in this year's election and maypoiler role for any candidate acquiescing to Syrian or Muslim demands. The National Liberal Parly has been associated wiih ihe Lebanese Forces since lhe start of thc civil warhe parly's Tigers militia was forcibly merged into the Lebanese Forces militia by then militia Ic Bashir Gcmsycl.esidue of friction bclween tbc two groups!
Wc believe Chamoun's courtship of the Lebanese Forces will increase8 as he attempts tu calm mililia anxieties or challenges lo his candidacy causedoderating of his political siand..
jn has i
publicly championed the Christians' need for thc Lebanese Forces militia, especially as an internal security force, and has extolled thc virtues of Samir Ja Ja. ihc leader of ihc Lebanese Forces, on several
All of Cbamoun's eflorla lo broaden hit support nay be for naught If lab well-known relationship with -liraef make* him anaiheroa to theove troopso- thirds off *e- at lhc major force ia this years election, and any successful candidate will recjuirc Syrian acejuiesenceinimum, orikely, Syrian
We believe that In this election Damascus wants to prevent the creation ofotlile fundame/talbi Muslim suitehristian ministalc dependent on Israel on its western border. Dany Chamoun may be
unable to overcome his pro-Israeli image enough io sciuelch Syrian fears of the latter form of government. In addition, past ami-Syrian (utemcnis. such ateclaration thai Damascus-was responsible for Prime Minister Karomi's assassination last June, will benoi ir overcome in cour
Allhough Chamoun r> positioning himself loerious run for Lebanon's ptesidency. it ia too soon toudgment of hb chances. Until mora information is known on the election plans of suck key players as Sumir Ja Ja aad Syrian President Assad, the field remains wide wen. Dany Chamoun haseen awareness of lhe'Syrian and militant Christian roles in8 election and will--coniinue lo probe for lhc elusive political platformj neededacify opposition to hb election.
Tunisia: The Fundamental's Challenge to Stability
fundamentalism, under ihc banner of thc Islamic Tendency Movement (MTIi. rcnecseni* ihe largest political threat to the governmcni of Presiceni Zinc El Abidlne Den Ali The President.had been Prime Minister only five necks before7 from "Pre-Jekni for Life" Habib BouiEuiba. hasn by his initial actions that be intendsnore imaginative and cfTectivc policy for dealing with thc faasta menu lists. In ouris approach standi lhe beat chance of taming the fundimenialists and promoting tiabihtj. given the risky alternativeseturn lo massive repression or loosening all restrictions on MTI political activity
Ben Ali Betier Suited for the Challenge Ben Ali has promisednew era or political cooperation between the |overnmeni and the opposition, including lhe MTI. but -ithoui unduly raising funds menial 1st poJitanl cipcctaiioen. Although vowing to continue Ihe crackdowniolence-prone eiiremisu and promising to* lo amper *nb Tunisia's Personal Status Code. Ben Ali's government has taken step*lacate thc fundamentalists:
Hit speeches have included Koranic religiousunprecedented rhetoricunisian leader.
Thc government's decisionry funda menu lists in criminal rather than Hate security courts is an indication thai Ben All will distinguish violent activity and protests from less threatening Islamic poliiical agitation.
Both Prime Minister Baccnuchc and Foreign Minister Mcstir, have lold the press that thc MTI could pailicipaic I- the poliiical process if ii changes ils name, pledges allegiancehc republican form of governmcni. and disavows any intent of using Islam for political purposes.
In Lite November (he governmenteries of 'digiouy re forms, including ihe renaming of ihc faculty of theology at Tunis University wiih its original designation, ihe broadcasting of calls so prayer on radio and television, and lhe enhance men of me pocrs of ihe Higher Islamic Council.
Ben All's groni of clemencyecember, includedundamentalists.
MTI ia Disarray
MTI Secretary General Mourou responded favorably toemoval from office and Ben Ali's assumption of power. Despite misgivings aboul Ben Ali. Mourou and other MTI officials probably are relieved that the newctionscJrialaod executions of MTI leaden In jail. Ben All's olive branch lo ihe Islamic Tendency Moemcni provides hope thai thc government will end its persecution of MTI leaders Mourou has called for poliiical reforms by the Beneneral amnesty, democratic elections, and the rehabilitation of popular organiuiiom suchabor end student
The sudden change in Tunisia's poliiical climate gives the Islamic Tendencyuch needed Crpporlunlly to put ils house in order. In our view, ihc key weakness of the MTI is il'-immaiurilyolitical movement. Thc movemeni has existed for only six years, and during half of ihis period ils leadership has been in jail. This disruption almost
Leadership. The Islamic Tendency Movement ho> developed an orgom;ationat ftrmriurr In whichsmall consutieiice council or poliibum of mineralof whom are In /ail oregional, area, diltrid. and local settltmt.
Membership Acting MTI Iroder Jeball claimedress interview that the g'Oup has IJ.OOO lo IS.tWt members tea*
finances. Jeball has confirmed information published hj Tunisian pro'ecuioes listing the annuel budeet iheitdency Movement at about SlfS nrJO Jeball slated that half comes from membershiphird from "taxes" paid by merchant, and the rest from the sole of puMiceilnm.
Propaganda In addition lo two magailnes. the gtouf. produces recorded tapei and Reference titvli on Islam. The tapes feature se'mons be the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brothrrhoad. Has tan al Banna. Th/iwo MTI periodicals. The Society and
their, before the gmernnwu banned thci in'The mwement continues to distribute trajlets clandestinely. ffJpW g
Fact.ons HV betiete the ItJanur Tendency Mmtment hod four factions before the latest crackdown. These included thcgenerolt} moderateess politically oriented group nf fundamentalists that led ihr orranl;atlon during thehantuiuehl and other leaders were In fall, radical students and youth aetirittt; end members In exile primoril, in Frantv aVJaa ag^jjjjj
Com munka lions. Fast imprisonment of MTI leaders probably taught ihem tie benefiii ofethods af Internal command and control. Weecret cell structure aided the drpertures af
and Jeball. Although ihr MTI leadership can >tllt trfganiie demonstrations, ihe crackdown
certainly has disrupted communication links -it hi* the movement afSsgag j tuuu,
hindered elTorts toohesive orta ni ration, la press imerviewi Secretary General Mourou has adeajiaed that he lacked effective control over thc dtsparatc iroups. especially the radical Student factions, lhat make up thc MTI. Ben Alii gestures probably will bolster the moderate MTI leadership ai the cipense of the radicals. tasaaaaV
The unwillingness or inability of ihe Isbmk Tendency Movemenllarify itsnconsistent political philosophy almost ccriainly will cause doubts about ill objectives to persisi among many Tunisians Thc MTI hasoderate platform, including political plui jliwn in Tunisia, and cialmi lhat It will noi impose Mamie rule on Ihc countrt Ii haiC'itki/cd Iraniand hai praised thelarnk-dominated civilian government in Sudan. Ai the same lime, ihc
Islamic Tendency Movement lauds lhc Islamic revolution In Iran and calls for the dismantling o. BcHrfgulbs's secular laws governing social relationsnationalhanaouchi.ew ptes* interviews, has spoken apnrovinalv of vinknee-to fundamentalist ends.
these diverse positions reflect significantbe religiously trained and puritanical
Ghannouchi anduccessful divorce lawyer.
ie at Prospects for Fundamentalists In our vkw. Ben Alt will retain the upper hand over thc fundamentalists in ihe near,term.ienimeni ol fundi, mental 1st* has scattered the
MTI Poliiical Plotfotm
Thc poliiical agenda of Ihe Islamic Tendency movement isodel of caniturncy. Iu mm'e'oie platform probably It attributable bothhe pe'tonal conviction! of Secretary General Mourou and ihr interests of ihe MTI leadership In presenting on acceptable imprestlonoubtful Western and Tunisian observers.
he MTI cites cqualtly and lustier as the central Issues In coniernporory Tunisia, rather than formation of an Islamic State. Iiepublican form of government and internal democracy, change based on free elections and parliamentary rule, and support for lhe current corutiiulion. The MTI colls for free assembly ond activity of political parlies ond other mast movements. At the same lime, ihr MTI callsational dtbait on lhe esiaallihmeniharter that would organise all social and poliiical relaiiont. age*
Human Rights. The MTI advocates equality uf all Tunisians, presumably including lhe country'; small groups of Christians ond Jews, and stoics lhal il mill not enforce Koranic statutes against those who do/not support the MTI. Even SO. lhe group denigrates La. 'ant itculor idrclogtes and promises profound changes in fgmfr ihe country's ttgtt:-
movement colts jornd lhe replacement oft/jB*" official language dtff.
Social Policy The mosi controversial point is the MTl't criticism of Bourgulba's Personal Status Code, passed in tht Initial yean of independence, which secularised socltty and established equal poliiieol end toclal rlghis foe women Although supporting their right of ctlltenshlp. Individuality, and lhe inviolability of their personal property end dtgatty.I tleims ll will release wonven from the evils oc^Wrsteenl lettdm In addition, the movement cells for free education end heelih ceee
the replacement of French by Arabic as ike officio! lor
Religion. Mourou clatmi the lilamic Trndrnt, movement will not Impoit Islamltut ihe movement colli for ihe tnllghitnmrni and guidance of public opinion on Issues Mourou has stated that
the MTI Iiranch of ihethough the Brotherhood's founder Hassan al-Banno figures prominentlyopes disiribuled by the movementthai the MTIniquely Tunisian movtmtni ihai addresses the country's social ond poliiical situation fJfJtV
Economy. Mourou hasestructuring of commerce foe the fust distribution of wealth. The MTI calls for ihe automatic right to work and thi elimination of favoritism, corruption, and economic and social inequality. The movement says it would eliminate usury and financial speculation in the hanking ond commercial scctors.hjft Lao. *SS
Foreign Policy. Thr MTI gives rhetorical supportiberation movements andforeign dependency, bui It does not advocate ihe export of Islam by force. MTI leaders sttpport an Islamic entity In lhe Mohgreb. initially *ilh Algeria and Libya, and In the broader Arab realm, but ihey place priority on national unity. Tunisian sovereignly, and defense againsi foreign aggression. Tht movement backed ihe government In Ihe face of military threats from LibyaV
Iran. Ghannoucht has praised lhe Islamic revolution in Iran, bui thr Islamic Tendency Movtment does not lake sides in the Iran-traa eonfllcl. Channouchl andother leaders have crliiciied Khomeini's intolerance and domestic excesses os well as the Shia doctrine ol the infallibility of the Imam and his position above legal institutions. The MTI leaders deny thai Tehranroviding financial and material support io ihe movementaha* Ifc A
MTI leadership, leaving ihe Mamie Tendency Movement dtsotganir.cd and incapable of sponsoring more than occasional demonsiration* against the government. We believe Ben Ali has lhe determination and ability todeal firmly viih unauthorized fundamentalist poliiical activity as he has in the past j
issassin irom attackn
In thc near term. We believe the President's efforts to placate thc fundamentalists will keep them off guard and help maintain public order as he consolidates his power. We are not confident that the police have the means or ability lo locate and neutralize extremist groups, however, let alone cope wiih large-scale riots orone assassin from attacking key figures in the government.*.
We believe Ben All has more political leverage over Ibe fundamentalists lhan did Bourguiba. Ben Ali's gestures present asangcr lo the movement'snear-term political viability as-an opportunllyain legal status. Islam in Tunisia hastrong voice for political expressionrigger of limilcd violence, bur ii has not been the basis orvndcspread protest. Ben Ali's apparent success at marshaling public support for his governmcnil least temporarily reinforce his position at the expense of all opposition groups and lake the wind oui of ihc MTI's political sails. Furtherrr-wc. governrncnt tolerance of politicalups increases thc chances that secular politicaT groups can compete successfully for the support of Tunisians who have rallied to thc Islamic Tendency Movement. *ea|ge-
Wc believe thai Ben All. despite thc arresi in mid-November ofundamentalist* Involvedlot to overthrow ihc regime, genuinely desires io dear thc air and toolitical settlement wiih the Islamic Tendency Movement. He probably calculates thai dialogue and co-optation of thc MTI. similarresident Mubarak's approach in Egypt allowing ihc Muslim Brotherhood access' to the political arena, would give the fundamentalists an acceptable degree of invelvemeni in the poliiical process. Ben Ali probably would be willingift all restrictions on
part) if it
kljmic cultural and educational joishic* in return lor promises b> thc MTI to compromise on Us social .igcnda. The Islamic Tendency Movement also would be required to reorganiseolitical party along the lines or lhe three legal opposition groupsassociate.ih an orposiiionpart) if it hopedarticipate in cl'Ctioos. t
Playing the Governmenl's Game We believe ihe Islamic Tendency Mrjvcnveni is inclinedq along with ihc government. Mourou has suggested in siaicmcnishe press thai the MTI is willing ip defer some of its poliiical demands. He announced ihat the MTI docs not want to participate in elections to gain scats In thc legislature and press its social program.alihough it might consider participationoalition governmcni. He himed that ihc MTI mighi change its nameatisfy government conditions for legality and staled thaiecular legal code on social relations*icp forward, even though it wassacred lext."
- liiclihr^cLlhat hcviil
In our view. Moo rem's remarks indicate ihat thc Kb met Tendency Movement believes good behavior will end the crackdown, allow for ibe repatriation of fuidsmcnialist* in exile, ond gain amnesty for the0 funda men la lists still ir* jail. MTI lenders probably believe they have little choice in heir tactics, given <hc apparent popularity of the SI-year-old Ben Ali and thc likclil>cod,ihat he willffice until ali
The fundamentalists have Tittle to lose. The Islamic Tendency Movement hasoliiical niche, and it is noi likely to disappear. Bourguiba, despite the aurodhat surrounded him as tbe country's founder. couVd not devise an effective strategy for combating the fundamentalists and discouraging the growing publicest aliens of religious fervor among Tunisians. Thc tssk will be no less daunting for Ben Ali. Our assessment is .that ihc MTI, at least until the wave of arrestsore dynamic poliiical movement than thc three legal parlies or ihe ruling Dcsiouriun Socialist Pany. althoughrobablyin an clcciion if ihc governmcni
were louly 'roculhrt. jrc nsore certain thai the Pctiourian Socialists nnd the bureaucracy cannot meet public demands ;ind mobilife lhc population behind government fron rams unless Gen Ali follows throughJ*in promise to revitalise the ruling party.!
Democratic reforms would give ihc MTIhance io operate freely in Tunisian voociy.egal voice in politics, and assert Hi authority over radicals. Even lSouth compromises wilt produce more fissures wuhin the movement, wc believe lhc moderates will maintain control mcr rooai MTI followers Over ihc longer term. liberal) ration of the political system increases protocols >hat lhc fundamentalists will eventually be represented in the legislature and_ possibly in anvcrnmenl decision making
Tendency Movement probably would be inclinedress ils original social agenda if it could gain ascendancy over ihc olher parlies and somehow neutraliie, potential opcorition from thc military.
on tiii success In making inodcrniialion mure Compatible with religious beliefs, overcoming ihc psychological Causes of resurgent Islam.
The Libyan Menace Recedes. Even though Libyan leader Qatthari congratulated Ben All on hh assumption of power, wc believe the Libyans are disappointed by Ihe smooth transition In Tunis. OadhaB probably hoped that continuing tension between Bourguiba and thc fundamentalists would provide an opening for Libyan subversion. Qadhafi has soughtong period to gain influence in Tuniiia..
wc believe Qadhafi will seek
opportunities to provide assistance to Tunisian
fUn'da menu lists, including sanctuary, funds, or even weapons. MTI leaders would seek closer cooperation with Qadhafi if Ben Ali began anoiher round of
rrests and there were signs that foreign govern men is now hostunisian refugees^awaBauuVWanttwaW sndecfTo close their doors ihc movementeek other sofehavea
Wc cannot completely discount the fiossibih'iy thai Benule will reduce support for funds menial ism to lhc point that ihe Islamic Tendency Movement ceases to be an effective political organiialion. Wc beljevejie can provide the vigorous leadership necessary to make headway in solving thc country's numerous economic, social, and political problems. Ben Ali's promise to institute an antteorrupllon campaign devoid of the political overtones of the'* Bourguiba era could, if carried out. eliminate tome of the ostentatious display and ill-gotten wealth ihji has produced popular disgruntlemcnt and fueled fundamentalist complaints. Other signs that bode well for debility include improving economic conditions; the absence of large, violent demonstrations by fundamentalists in Tuner in recent months; ?nd the peaceful opening of universities last fall, in contrast ta the nearly uninterrupted turmoil during the preview* school year. Further progress for Ben Ali will depend
Algerian Auilelies Rrliered. In contrast to Libya, we assets that Algeria is genuinely pleased the change in Tunis. Algerian leaders wereSnaeaslngly concerned about fundamentalist political activity in Tunisia and its dcstabiliring cKeci on ihc country and potentially throughout ihe region The government of President Bendjedid almost certainly believedurther deterioration of the political situation in Tunisia would not only iaviic Libyan meddlingo encourage interferenceTunisian affairs by tbe Scnriet Union and thc United States Algeria probably willontradictory foreign policy toward the new regime ia Tunb. Bendjedid will encourage Ben Ali to co-opt thcental ills whileough line toward lhc violenceextremists. Al the same time. Algiers'! continuing pressure on Tunis to allow Libya to join lhe Treaty of Fraternity and Concord linking Algeria with Mauritania and Tunisia could force Ben Ali lo quicken ihe pace of
reconciliation between Tunis and Tripoli, to the advantage of Qadhafi and tlie fundamcnijlin dissidents he might support
I totens lot the United Slates We believe Benpproach will limit the potenlia foi fundamentalism to undermine bilateral tics, flaw*
may believe the Uniied Si instrumental in Ben Ali's takeover,idespread imr^ession in Tunisia lhat lhc new President has close links lo Washington. The President, in our view, will become less open than Bourguiba in embracing the United States and will expand Tunisia's ties lo moderate Arab stales possibly
at the expense of tics lo thcmoves thai will be viewed positively byas he .additional US military and economic aid.
fundamentalism wouldhreat to US interests only if Ben Alf misplays bilateral ties and Is tarredackey of Washington or If his relations with lhc MTI sharply deteriorate. Highly visible US military lies against the backdropenewed crackdown on allen ia lists would strengthen the hand of Ihe radicals, who are Inclined to sec Washington as thc prime enemy of fundamentalism.
Middle East-Soulh Asian Debt: Manageable bui firovsiiim
of the external debt position of the countries of the Middle East and South Asia reveals broad differences both in the magnitude of financing problems ibey face and the response of individual countriesheirIn general. Middle East and South Asian debtess onerous shadow than'that of Latin American debt, largely because of thc smaller proportion of commercial borrowing within theteadily growing need for external financing combined with pressure tin Weitern creditors for more generous rescheduling, however, is likely to produce strains in important political relationships. Thc United Siaics in pankular is likely lo experience friction with such key allies as Egypt, Pakistan, and Morocco on dcbi and economic aid
A Preponderance of Lew-Cost Official Debt External deb? in the Middle Fajt and South Asia pates in comparison with Laiinnbuul half, orJ billion at ihe endoreover, ihis debt load Is spreadroup of countries lhan Is the case In Latin America. Debt serviceability problems generally arc less severe, wiih two of the larger regionalArabia andwithin the,ranks of problem debtors. Saudi debt ishort-term financing problem Stemming from lhe kingdom's large merchandise import brikUndia's large and diverse economy services ils mainly low-cost official debt without too much difficulty.
An interesting characteristic of lbc debt structure in ihc Middle East and South Asia, in comparison with teal of Latinhe smaller proportion of debt derived through commercial6 yea rend data, private lending in ihe Middle East and South Asia, mostly by Western banks, accounted forercent of ihc area's medium- and long-term borrowing. In contrast.m, Amcinu commercial lending comprises BO percent of medium- and long-term borrowing andarger figure In absolute terms as* billion ineruit versus SM billion In iheind South Asia.
These companions dcmontiruic why ihc dcbi issue in ihe Middle East ands does nothcnn turn it prominence accoidcd lo Latin American dcbi. Nevertheless, slgnificani debt servicing problems con front many countries in lhe Middle East and South Asia. Thc external debt load in ihis area is growing more rapidly lhan In any other mayor region of (he world, with Ihe exception nf Sub-Saharanercent Middle East and South Asian growth rate6erceni In East Asiaercent in Latin America for the same period. The growth in debt reflects Inropoff in oil earning) In many of these countries6eed for short-term financing. The rising debt may also be symptomatic of longer term endemic structural redbkms associated wiih ihc strongpuWk-scctc* orientation ol many cosAoraics in the region.
Tire Problem Debtors
Althoughrationi among Such diversity arc risky, we believe one can separate lhe countries in the Middle Easi and South Asia imo categories reflecting the seriousness of their debt position. In ihc first category are the so-called problem countries, such as Algeria. Iraq. Egypt, and Morocco. Algeria is the only couniry in ihc group thai relict heavily on commercial borrowing. Declining oil and natural gas prices coupled with heavy Industrial development ex'pendliurts In recent yean have led lo an extremely high Algerian debt servicing ratio of II percentlthough this ratio Is down'perceni. il is still uncomfortably high for the
liaq's extensive foreign borrowing since thc Marl of thewith'lran'has transformed Baghdadayor problem debtor. Iraq's military and civilian
internalionaI banking community
motile East/ Sub-SonarAsia B
AGGREGATE EXTERNAL DEBT MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIA
Billions US S
XTERNALELECTED "MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES
totalsillion. which hm been turguly borrowed bom, Of guaranteed through foreignwed lo Weil European countries andecem opium in Iraoi oil reverue* resulting in panponsion of Hi pipeline through Turkey hat helped Baihdad obtain additional uade credit! Irom uanpliertobabl> can pare down iti eaiernal debturingi.ipeline etpsrnion acroti Saudi Arabia beomei fully operational
Egypt, with medium- and long-term dchl obligationsillion al the endeemi io have stabilised in foreign pay menu pom ionnrlby cradii arrangemeni wnh ihe International Monetary Fundescheduling of *T2 billion through lhc Parb Club. Improved oil and tourist earning! and possible renewed financial asustancc from Gulf Arabs followingcatceptancc into the Arab fold at ihe Amman tummu meeting pointnoet positive near-icrm outlook Egypt's progress in restruciuiing il! inefficient economy under the Standby arrangemeni. however, is questionable liven its incomplete compliance and growth prospects arc clouded.
Morocco's foreign payments problems forced il into an agreement with the IMF several years ago. Thc adjustment program and debt rescheduling have led lo improvement in ill foreign pay menu pcnliicat. but Morocco's troubles arc not over Debt servicing payment willerious burden on the economy for ihc mediumbsorbing nearly half the country's capon earrings through thes In Egypt's case. Morocco will have to cut consumer subsidies further and restructure public-sector companies, which will undoubtedly cause f'fctronopulace already feeling ihe pinch of austerity.
Two Successful Adjusters: TaamJa aad Iran
Tunis has over ibe past year devalued thc dinar. Iibers'irrrj trad; la*s. and Imriosed lha IT cull in public spending In response fo severe foreign
Thu debtm lis- "Wr tan*nwiSaurii Aribuanti**UUltrcswH
pj)ijicnts disequilibrium. Bs prudently preparing thc ropuUce for the scvcrii) of its economic meusurca. ihc governmeni avoided thc blood) noting thatread price increases4 Tunisia has met or ci;ccdcd thc targets astocuicd with its IMF program, although some reforms, particularly those to reduce bask coreumcr subsidies, must slillr. pic men led Moreover, confidence in funis has increased since the aged President Bourguiba was replaced by a. yoirger and more energetic leader who is commuted lo furihci liber ali ration.
Iran's successful rctponic lo financial pressures has led itiffcrenl route, lhal of financial autarky. Thc Islamic regime in Tehran hasolicy of economic independence ami hut avoided incurring
i rv dcbl. Iran's ability to enforce sharp cutsimports ssiihout substantial publicits adjustment procedures unique andfor an) state not wilting or able iopublicharp decline ia6 forced Tehran toostlyillionikely to remain eborro-ei unless theists who control the governmentaside by younger, mores
Borrowers With Crossing Needs Sandwiched between lhc problem debtors and the successful adjusters arc most of the countries in the Middle East and Southommon ihread that unites many of these stales is iheir ncadily eipanding need for eiternal financing Whether the result of de Ji or remittance earnings or simply poor economic management and resulting economic stagnation, the trend in ihc region appears toward an overall eipanded requirement for foreign capital. This applies io new mcdtum-icrm commercial borrowers vocn as Jcedan andas well asitaNaked brarrrrwersi like India
The magnitude of enema) financing needs over the neat five years will depend ireally on coonomic prospects in countries belonging- to ihe Organirairon
Economic Cooperation and ncvclupincni. An economic collapse'iifieanln ihc cccinomici oftji' -is:harply negative impact on oilignifcant drop In oil prices would, in lurn, reverberate throughout ihc region, given Ihe important linkage! among oil earnings, remittances, and aidiihia the region.
Th* Seeds of Furlrnsion For problem debtors such as Egypt sod Morocco. tsftsnM access to commercial lending is severely limited, dependence on bilateral or multilaicral international lenders will grow. Boih countries arc fortunate because Iheir strategic positions till attract help from ihe West. Nevertheless. Western creditors probably win continueinsist on compliance mih IMF-tndorsed economic adjustment prog'amt. This will, no doobi, sow ihe seeds of fuithcr tension and confrontation between lenders and these borrowers became domestic criticism of ausicril) measures mil probably increase.
Borrowers wiih the economic cloul ihai results from large oil and gasuch as Algeria and Iraq, will probably pursue more independent debt negotiating strategics Iraqi ability to abwam (torn dealings through thc Paris Club or ihc IMF and its succcis in playing one lender against another to obtain more favorable financing will probably be strengthened by ils strong medium-term reennccu for additional crude oil cipori capacity Algeria williotructural adjustment progiim and Paris Club rescheduling. With no significant increase in hydrocaibon earning likclv and austerity already straining thcicm. howc-er. Algiers may be forcedccept some form of cooperation with us international creditor!
Wc believe ihe Middle Eaal and South Asia will witness more tree new anconeus to circumvent the traditional jsaih of an IMfadjustment program and debt rescheduling through lhe Paris nnd London Clubs of creditors The success Of some Latin American debtors in forong Westerno adopt less onerous repayment schedule* has encouraged this tendency. The generous terms of7 Egyptian standby arrangement and Egypt'sompliance with these measures have probata) encouraged thc belief ihai Western creditors can be forced to yield softer terms
Tbe tendency in lbc Middle East and South Asia to challenge current assumptions aboul debt management and to press Westernofficial andmore generous debt rescheduling is likely to dominate future financial relations and produce further strains in important poliiical'
Near East and Soulli Asia Brief
Saudis arc being pressed by Iranegotiate lhe number of Iranians allowed io perform this year'sannual majorJuly. Tehran iccenily announced lhal il intends'io0 pilgrims..
ime when icnsion between Saudi Arabia ane high. This action, however, conflict* with Riyadh's IsUmic obligation io allow all Muslims aecess io in/ holy cities, The Saudis will find ii increasingly difficult lo deny religious visasranians, and wc believe Riyadh and Tehran willompromise in ihe neat few months, reducing ihc number or umrah and hajj partkipanit. Nonetheless, we expect Iran io send the largestihb year's hajjiOriginal document.