MIDDLE EAST

The Summit and the Arab conundrums

Different views of the outcome of the Arab Summit have emerged, and as is customary, they are largely imprecise speculation. Claims included saying the failed to crack any of the intractable differences, and that it was intended to appease one side or another. Emissaries of four or five countries plagued with endemic crisis attended the summit saddled with their opinion and that of the governments they represent.

What is striking is that the reputations of all participants remained intact, before and after the meeting. They delivered the same statements for political solutions for the unrest across Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Iraq. And they echoed recommendations for an imperative national reconciliation once ISIS is defeated.

Starting with Libya, there was an international solution agreed upon by the country’s various parties at the Skhirat meeting in Morocco. This meeting was the base for an international resolution that led to the creation of a presidential council and national accord government. Nonetheless, the predicament lingered due to elected House of Representatives rejection of the solution, resulted in a semi autonomous status for east Libya with its own government and where most of the Libyan national army are based, and have recently captured the oil crescent.

However, the old government revolted against the Tripoli-based national accord government, and the capital witnessed infighting between warring factions. By far, neither Tripoli nor the western region of Libya enjoys stability or a functional government, hence, the summit referred to a consensual political solution for a cohesive Libya and an end to infighting.

Conundrum exacerbated

As for the Syrian conflict, for years now, everyone has called for a political solution, a road map of Geneva 1 in 2012 was introduced as well as the issuance of International Resolution 2254. The resolution, which includes a political transition, was nixed, firstly, by the Syrian regime then Iran before Russia joined them. Since 2013 and hitherto, the military and the diplomatic paths aimed to achieve a single target which was to abort the international resolution and to retain a regime that displaced 10 million citizens and slaughtered another half a million.

The conundrum was further exacerbated by ISIS’ takeover of territories in Syria and Iraq, international powers shifted focus to confront ISIS without interference from the regime and to a certain extent from Iran and Russia. Arab nations have called for the political solution, as set out in the Geneva declaration and UN resolution 2254.

What is striking is that the reputations of all participants remained intact, before and after the meeting. They delivered the same statements for political solutions for the unrest across Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Iraq

Radwan al-Sayed

Although the rapporteurs were agreed upon by all parties, nonetheless, the Syrian regime, Russia, and Iran rejected to its enforcement. The siege and displacement are still ongoing in various parts of Syria. Blatantly there is no solution except through a political transition, which preserves the unity of the country, and returns the Syrians to their homes that were totally demolished or whatever remained of it.

In Yemen, a solution was established as a result of the Security Council resolution 2216. The GCC states led by Saudi Arabia intervened to enforce it, yet again, Iran - similarly as in Syria and Iraq - intervened to bolster the rebels against the legitimate government. All the same, Gulf states merely called for a political solution, not triumph, hence, there is a probability of implementing such solution in 2017 following the annihilation and devastation of epic proportions caused by the Houthi rebels and Ali Saleh henchmen.

Iran and Hezbollah’s terrorist actions were referred to several times at the summit recommendations, but Lebanon was offset. The summit did not denounce Hezbollah's terrorism and its takeover of state institutions and its interference in Syria, but rather praised the election of a Lebanese president and the formation of a national unity government. The participants of the summit expressed, via the recommendations, solidarity with Lebanon for the liberation of all its territory and commitment to providing aid to help the country cope with the massive influx of Syrian refugees.

The new Lebanese president’s comments before the kick off of the summit were remarkable. He underscored the significance of the militant group and welcomed their involvement in the Syrian crisis to counter terrorism. In addition he called for dialogues to resolve differences between Arab nations, offering himself as a mediator, though he is well recognized for his anti national dialogue stance and for being against consensus on political solution for crisis during his protracted endeavor to ascend to the presidency for quarter a century. It is well known that, and due to the president's violation of international resolutions, the Security Council has recently called him to restore national dialogue to counter the quandary of illegal weapons, a call the president, of course, will ignore as long as he buttress the illegal weapon or at least, considers it legitimate.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Radwan al Sayed is a Lebanese thinker and writer who attained a bachelor degree from the Faculty of Theology at al-Azhar University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tübingen in Germany. He has been a scholar of Islamic studies for decades and is the former editor-in-chief of the quarterly al-Ijtihad magazine. Radwan is also the author of many books and has written for Arab dailies such as al-Ittihad, al-Hayat and ash-Sharq al-Awsat.
 

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Last Update: Tuesday, 4 April 2017 KSA 18:35 - GMT 15:35
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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