Issues of Palestine, Syria, Libya and Yemen At the upcoming Arab summit
On April 11th 2018, the Council organized a panel discussion on the Arab Summit to be held in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, to discuss the most important issues on the agenda of the Summit and the outcome of the Summit, as the region is witnessing developments and conflicts on regional and international levels. With the participation of the Ambassadors, the Chairman of the Council, the Executive Director and a number of experts and specialists from the Council.
A number of files have been reviewed as follows:With regard to the Palestinian file, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim El-Dewairy, a member of the Council, said that the summit is required:
1. Focus on two main principles:
· Rejection of any political projects on the table that undermine the rights of the Palestinians and the Arab constants or contradict any solutions to fundamental issues.
· Returning to the negotiations, especially as the Palestinians and the Arabs are ready to enter into these negotiations with Israel in the coming period under the available references, which allows for the return of the partners to the Palestinian and Israeli partners and to move the negotiations train amid the decline of Palestinian gains and the increase of its Israeli counterpart and the expansion of settlements.
2. The Summit reaffirms its commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative (Beirut 2002), as it is unchanged.
3. To adopt the Abu Mazen peace plan of 20 May 2017, a comprehensive peace plan that includes principles, determinants, flexibility and timelines.
Regarding the Syrian file, Ambassador Mohamed Anis Salem, member of the Council, noted the following:
The Saudi Crown Prince affirmed his coexistence with the changes by expressing his readiness to accept the Assad regime during a transitional period.
Otherwise, he is subject to disagreement whether the election of a new president, and the problems of the Kurds in the north Syrian military intervention, as well as the problems faced by the Syrian army and all security forces.
The Western objectives are not clear in Syria, which is mapped during the military strike on Syria and the lack of clarity of its objectives, In April, 2017, the United States launched a strike that did not lead to Assad stepping down, and another similar strike in April 2018, whose purpose and duration are unclear.
Is there any willingness to venture again? UN Envoy De Mistura’s work will not produce results, and he will only talk about humanitarian aspects and create safe corridors amidst a faltering political process.
There is an attempt by some parties to drag the Arab region to the process of reconstruction of Syria, and talk that this could reduce the Iranian influence and can not put Iran’s exit condition to recognize the current situation.
On the vision of the situation in Yemen, Ambassador Yousef Ahmed, former Egyptian Ambassador to Yemen:
Emphasize, that the political solution is the basis for resolving the Yemeni crisis, and speeding up in the face of the humanitarian disaster facing that country. Egypt’s condemnation of the Al-Houthi group of launching ballistic missiles targeting several cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, cooperation between the coalition countries and the League of Arab States and the UN Special envoy on Yemen, and launching cease-fire initiatives. Consider appointing an envoy of the League of Arab States to Yemen, within the framework of supporting and revitalizing the role of the League in the settlement of Arab crises.
Setting up a mechanism and timetable for the implementation of Security Council resolution 2216 on Yemen, forming committees to develop and implement confidence-building measures between the two sides, and other military and security forces to oversee the implementation of ceasefire agreements; and third to prepare for elections for new leadership and constitution; and stressing the establishment of a federal state for a period of time in accordance with the outputs of the national dialogue and the hands of the Yemenis themselves.
The negotiations and dialogues should be conducted in accordance with the basic terms of reference for resolving the Yemeni issue: the relevant UN resolutions, in particular resolution 2216, the Gulf initiative and the outputs of the Yemeni national dialogue. Emphasizing that the threat of navigation in Bab al-Mandab is a red line, and condemning the Houthi attacks on Saudi ships in the Red Sea.
On the Libyan file, Ambassador Ezzat Saad, Director of the Council, said:
· The efforts of the UN Special Envoy for the Arab League, Salah al-deen AlJamali, to unify the Libyan parties and to develop ideas for reaching agreement on the amendment of the Skhirat agreement. There is continuous coordination between the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States and UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salama.
· There is coordination and joint action within the framework of the international quartet on Libya, which includes the Arab League, the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. There is Arab involvement in the preparation of the upcoming Libyan National General Conference, which will be held on April 15th in the hope of finding solutions and mechanisms for national reconciliation and comprehensive unification of Libyan state institutions.
Egypt is making efforts to unify the Libyan military establishment and restructure it.
The Western approach focusing only on refugee issues, migration and other issues does not fall under this approach.
Moscow plays a role in the current international moves on Libya and Egypt encourages this role, especially since Russia has a good working relationship with the Libyan national army.
Ambassador Sayed Abu Zaid spoke about the Iraqi file, pointing out the following point That Iraq, since the invasion, witnessed deteriorating conditions and even after the defeat of terrorism, and there are tensions on the internal arena related to the elections in light of the intensification of competition between the electoral lists, such as “Saerun” and “coalition Dawlat Alkanon,” which includes former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the alliance of victory and others ,the economic situation and inability to collect up to 15% of the donors conference in Kuwait, as well as the problems of the Kurds, and therefore it is the responsibility of the summit to discuss the situation of Arab national security, and deteriorating security conditions in the presence of factions to organize ISIS. He concluded his intervention by calling for the importance of the Arab summit to emphasize the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, especially since the state of chaos and instability is one of the dangers facing the Arab national state, condemning any foreign intervention, as well as mobilizing Arab efforts to address the Iraqi economic crisis; and the need to open an in-depth Arab dialogue with the Arab countries to strengthen cooperation with the Iraqi state in the face of crises.
The work of the seminar concluded with an intervention of Ambassador Ezzat Saad on terrorism, stressing that:
That the Arab League has been making efforts for a while under the leadership of Egypt to develop an Arab system to combat terrorism.
In this context, the decision of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers was adopted (Resolution No. 8262 of March 7, 2018, 149th Session), which will be presented to the Summit for adoption.
Noting that the problem of the Arab system in the field of combating terrorism lies in how to reconcile between the countries active in the fight against terrorism and extremism, and the coordination at the international level, especially since resolution 8262, which mentioned the international dimensions of combating terrorism and the state’s obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions issued under the powers of the Council in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.