Arab kings and presidents will convene in Dhahran for the 29th Arab League Summit on Sunday. They meet in a very critical and difficult time, which is not new to our region; however, this time they meet when Arab countries are more divided and have become different now more than ever as they now disagree over some major issues which they’ve never disagreed about before.
There are three important files that cannot be ignored: The Israeli occupation, Iranian ambitions and terrorism.
The first Arab League summit was held in 1946 in Cairo with the invitation of King Farouq. The main topic was Palestine. And today, after 70 years of the declaration “the state of Israel,” Arabs meet again only a few weeks before the US transfers its embassy to JerusalemMohammed Al-Hammadi
The Palestinian file
The first Arab League summit was held in 1946 in Cairo with the invitation of King Farouq. The main topic was Palestine. And today, after 70 years of the declaration “the state of Israel,” Arabs meet again only a few weeks before the US transfers its embassy to Jerusalem after it recognized it as the capital of Israel.
This means that Arabs should do something in the Palestinian file that is still open since the very first summit and until this 29th summit which has to handle several thorny issues that require clear and practical Arab stances and not just statements or emotional and dreamy positions! What is needed here is stances that help Palestinians make gains instead of further increasing their losses.
The more dangerous file is regarding Iranian interferences in the region and different Arab stances when dealing with Tehran. Arabs should agree that Iran is a lurking and ambitious enemy that must be confronted. Clear stances must be taken in this regard especially after it was confirmed that the ballistic missiles launched from Yemen against Saudi Arabia were of Iranian origin.
It’s not unlikely that these missiles were launched by Iranian officers. An attack against any Arab country is supposed to be tantamount to an attack against Arabs. This is in addition to the blatant Iranian interference in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. There is no doubt that holding the Arab summit in Dhahran is a message to Tehran that Arabs are convening in the nearest Saudi city on the other bank of the Arabian Gulf opposite to Iran.
Actions, not words
During this summit, Arabs must realize that they have to proceed to taking actions and not making reactions or emotionally interacting with what’s happening. The scene around Arabs is extremely unfortunate or rather shameful as Iran is tampering with the region.
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Meanwhile, foreign countries meet and look for solutions for the crises in Syria and Yemen and there isn’t a single Arab party that represents Arabs and their stances present at these meetings. This international neglect is normal since Arabs themselves do not have an agreement on these matters and they don’t even stand with their fellow Arab brothers who decide to take action.
It is unfortunately clear that some Arabs await foreign stances and do not act alongside their Arab brothers who take practical stances. Therefore, if we want to be present in the decision-making forums regarding what concerns us, we must prove to the world that we are capable of making decisions and adopting practical action.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al-Hammadi is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper and Executive Director of editing and publishing at the Abu Dhabi Media Company. He founded and was Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic edition of National Geographic magazine, and has held numerous positions in journalism since joining Al Ittihad in 1994. Al-Hammadi has been a columnist for more than 15 years, including writing a daily column for seven years and producing a weekly political column in Al Ittihad since 2001. He has also worked as a parliamentary editor for seven years, covering the proceedings of the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to being an active participant on social networks, Al-Hammadi has an interest in new media and is currently working on a project to ease the transition from traditional to digital and smart media. Al-Hammadi has received numerous awards and is a member of a number of organizations and federations. He features regularly in broadcast media as a regional political commentator and has authored several books including Time of Ordeal (2008), The UAE Democracy (2009) and The Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood (2016). Twitter: @MEalhammadi.
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