Arab summit not kept pace with the rapid changes in the region

On: Sun 01/04/2012 9:41

More: New York Times
last summit where he met Arab leaders in March 2010 was in the Libyan city of Sirte, which delivered a congratulatory words were comfortable conversations. The main theme of Jerusalem, and the change and reform was not the important topics on the agenda.

Two years later meets Arab leaders in the Iraqi capital Baghdad at the top of the other. They put a table on the extent of the changes that occurred after a year of popular uprisings and revolutions, which began the bloody disintegration of the old regimes. Gone are the leaders strongmen in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, and Syria have been excluded from attending the summit was the seat vacant, and Gaddafi was killed at the hands of the rebels victorious last November in the same city that met the Arab leaders summit in 2010.

during the opening session of the summit of Baghdad and in A letter addressed to leaders and diplomats, said the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon "comes this summit in a dangerous time for Iraq and the Arab world, the winds of change will not stop blowing," but the air was quiet in the meeting room that was once a palace of palaces Saddam Hussein. Poetry of Arab leaders and diplomats Balrtabh with respect to reform and democracy and at the same time pointed to deal with religious and ethnic minorities and political opponents and dissidents in their countries. One did not discuss the ongoing violence in the State of Bahrain, with the help of allies, the Saudi authorities suppress peaceful uprising there.

Participated in the summit is less than half of the presidents, one president only from the Gulf states is the Emir of Kuwait. As in the past, it has failed in the face of the Arab League, the issue today, but the Syrian crisis, where the members could not provide a solid plan to alleviate this humanitarian crisis which the participants spoke about the sectarian dimensions.

Said Mohammed Bazi, a member of the Assistant Council on Foreign Relations, in a discussion posted on the Council website: "The summit is not important at the present time because of events accelerated on the ground." In the best procedure for the summit meetings during the three days, the group adopted the draft on Thursday urged the Syrian government to uphold the cease-fire proposal drawn by the United Nations, containing the six points. And approved by President Bashar al-Assad to a cease-fire but that the continuing violence has deepened fears of a lack of commitment to the proposal.

Successive speeches praised the Syrian people who made ​​nearly nine thousand martyrs, according to UN estimates, where Assad's government condemned the leaders for crimes against humanity committed by its people. But analysts say the Arab League have left the crisis-management of the United Nations, did not have ambitions in the mission which included the failed to send observers to Syria.

For its part, reiterated the Syrian Foreign Ministry rejected for any decisions taken by the Baghdad summit with regard to Syria. Although Saudi Arabia and Qatar - which were sent delegations to the lower level - have called for action to a more solid against al-Assad, has refused to leaders meeting in Baghdad, consider options for the use of force, and they tend to invite Assad to step down from power, and even they did not consider the support arm and whether or not the opposition.

This was reflected internal divisions between the Arab leaders who continued to resist some of them pressure on Assad to step down. Said Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Foreign Minister, told a news conference Wednesday night, "We have tried to find a solution to the Arab issue, but we did not succeed. And we have no new initiative in this topic except for the issues that we discussed." Instead of discussing substantive issues, the meeting was symbolic. And for the Iraqi government - which has spent $ 500 million and two years of efforts to create the capital Baghdad, which Nkrtha war, for this summit - the summit just in Baghdad, is considered a victory for Iraq.

Iraqi Officials were looking to the meetings of three days as an opportunity for the return of Iraq to the Arab world as an independent state can manage its own affairs and maintain their territory against neighboring countries such as the powerful Iran and Saudi Arabia and Turkey politically and economically powerful. Iraqi diplomats have been working on the wetting relations with neighboring countries before the start of the summit, where Iraq agreed to pay old debts, and provided the Iraqi government for the guests arriving and meals and luxury accommodation is appropriate and the black Mercedes.

Attended the summit meetings at least ten of the Arab leaders, including President of the Lebanese and Sudanese and Tunisian and Kuwaiti. The tip of reconciliation District, the exchange of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the Emir of Kuwait kisses on the ground at Baghdad airport, and said Mohammed Abdullah, sycophantic, historian and former member of the Saudi Shura Council, "I hope to remember the Arabs that Iraq is an Arab country is very important and must return to where it belongs - to the Arab world and not under the influence of Iran - ". However, there have been some minor inconvenience, he said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani said in an interview with Al Jazeera television that his country "sent message" showing disapproval of the growing sectarian and the marginalization of minorities in Iraq.

There is the stillness of the Iraqi capital like a ghost town a few days before and during the summit, and did not disturb the tranquility is a rocket exploded outside the Iranian embassy is not far from the International Zone on Thursday afternoon without the injured one, according to officials. It has been closed bridges located on the Tigris River, as well as the ways in which isolated the wire, said residents of areas west of Baghdad that the government may cut their telephone services networks in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. Leaders with the influx of guests to their planes on the return trip to their home countries on Thursday, the Iraqi government did not say anything about when lifting the stringent security measures taken before and during the Arab summit.
translation of Abdul Khaliq Ali