|Amman Summit : Make-or-Break Point ? |
Amman Summit : Make-or-Break Point ?
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. -- March 27, 2001 (WAM) -- A UAE daily newspaper called on the Arab leaders meeting today in Amman to close their ranks and bury their differences to address daunting challenges and threats faced by the Arab World.
The Sharjah-based 'The Gulf Today' said : "The Arab summit opening in the Jordanian capital Amman today is a major landmark in Arab history, not the least for the fact that it is the first such gathering after the 22-member Arab League agreed to institutionalise summit conferences as a regular event.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crow Prince and Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces opening Idex 2001 last week in Abu Dhabi with of Jordan (Photo WAM Agency)
"The issues facing the Arab world are complex. They range from internal differences to external challenges posed by foreign occupation of Arab territory and usurpation of Arab legitimate rights. Equally serious and directly contributing to the failure of efforts to regain Arab land and rights from the usurpers is blatant foreign meddling in Arab affairs.
"It does not require a crystal ball to realise the Arabs have been taken for a ride by foreign powers which have been consistently promising us that Arab rights would be respected and protected on the basis of international legitimacy and UN Security Council resolutions.
"What we find today is a very selective application of international legitimacy and UN decisions to suit Western strategic interests in the Arab region. That approach is the key reason behind the frustration that we are suffering after pinning hopes on the international conference held in Madrid that launched the Arab-Israeli peace process.
"Israel's arrogant approach and intransigence have not only stalled the peace negotiations but also fuelled conflict and tension. "Arab goodwill and sincerity in setting a firm foundation for peaceful coexistence in the region have been proved to be unfounded, and now we are left with the reality that it is entirely up to us Arabs to take decisive action and send an unmistakable message to the international community that we are determined to regain our legitimate rights."
"The need of the day is to present a united Arab front and strategy in dealing with Israel and supporting the Palestinians' struggle against the Israeli occupation of their territory and the Jewish state's efforts to legitimise its existence and be accepted as a member of the regional order without meeting the just requirements of peace.
"Israel should be told in unambiguous words that it should not hope to achieve its objective through fait accompli and it would be held accountable for its blatant violations of international conventions and norms of behaviour.
"Indeed, the Arab world alone could not hope to achieve that if only because of the protective umbrella offered by the West under which Israel has built and continues to build its arrogance and defiance of international legitimacy.
"But, the Arabs could indeed aim at removing that protective shield by warning off those who offer it that they face collective Arab action if they continued to indulge in any action that directly or indirectly threatens Arab rights and interests.
"There are many other pressing issues facing the Arab leaders gathered in Amman. Some of these issues deceptively show themselves as intractable problems while the right vision based on an unshakeable belief in the common Arab destiny and interests would clearly show that they would crumble away in the face of determination backed by the collective political and economic clout of the Arab world.
"Indeed, that is not going to happen overnight, and the Arabs will be subjected to all forms of intimidation and coercion aimed at diverting them away from the collective march.
The resolve to resist and withstand all such overtures could come only if the realisation sets in that true unity and solidarity is the strongest shield of defence for the Arab World. Difference among Arab countries have no room in the collective Arab march.
"That is where the Amman summit could prove to be the make-or-break point for Arab aspirations to ensure that all Arabs live in dignity, freedom and independence and be able to employ their human and material resources in the quest for development and progress compatible with the needs of the fast-moving globalisation.
"The Arab leaders gathered in Amman for the two-day summit have the biggest challenge in settling their differences first before launching concerted action towards addressing their common causes that include not only the need for just peace in the region but also enhanced economic integration as amply illustrated by the outcome of Friday's meeting of Arab ministers of trade and economy.
"Throughout the past years, President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has repeatedly emphasised the need for a common vision for the Arabs and called on Arab leaders to put aside their petty differences so that they could rise to a level that would allow them to comprehend the realities facing them as a people.
"The President's words that "history will judge those who impede collective action in the service of the Arabs at large should be ringing in the ears and minds of the Arab leaders when they sit down in Amman for the historic summit today and tomorrow. WAM/TF-VV