March 28, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5254

Saudi Daily On Doha Summit: At The First Arab Summit, The Ummah Had A Single Problem – The Palestinians; Now It Has Many Urgent Problems Of Security, Stability, And Independence In the Arab Countries

March 28, 2013
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 5254

On March 26, 2013, as the Arab summit being held in Doha got underway, the Saudi daily Al-Madina published an editorial lamenting the state of the Arab countries and the challenges they are currently facing. According to the editorial, while the first Arab summit discussed a single problem – the Palestinian problem – this summit is convening under the shadow of "a political, security, and economic earthquake, and raging storms of chaos, upheaval and fitna" in almost every Arab country: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Following is a translation of the editorial:[1]

"The Arab summit is convening in Doha today under the slogan 'The Current Situation and Future Horizons.' Like previous Arab summits, [it aims] to deal with the dangers and challenges that have continued to multiply from summit to summit, reaching their peak during this one – at a time when it seems that the state of many Arab countries makes no one happy.

"One of the most astonishing paradoxes is that when the ummah held its first summit some 50 years ago, it had a single problem – the Palestinian problem. Now there are many problems for which [the Arabs] are seeking urgent solutions in order to preserve the security, stability, and independence of the Arab countries – most of which are subject to a political, security, and economic earthquake, and to raging storms of chaos, upheaval, and fitna, especially the Arab Spring countries.

"Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this worrisome reality are the resignations, on the eve of the summit, of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and of National Coalition for Syrian [Revolutionary and Opposition] Forces leader Ahmad [Mouaz] Al-Khatib – which complicates the Arab reality yet further at a time when it seems that these countries urgently need to remove the difficulties they face in uniting their ranks, positions, and resolutions, in order to preserve their security, unity, and stability, and the vitality and integrity of the Arab regime.

"A comprehensive look at the current situation in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen arouses concern. The Syrian revolution is at a dangerous turning point: Al-Khatib's surprise resignation, and the Free Syrian Army's failure to recognize Ghassan Hitto [chosen March 18, 2013 at the meeting of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces in Istanbul] as interim prime minister, could cause cracks in the Syrian opposition.

"Weapons [provided to the Syrian regime] by Iran and allowed by Iraq through Iraqi airspace are also playing a part in igniting the Syrian crisis, and they are pouring more oil [on the fire] of sectarian fitna [in Iraq] – [sectarian fitna] being considered the main characteristic of [Iraqi] President Nouri Al-Maliki's era. Add to this the Iranian nuclear dossier, the current state in Lebanon, the chaos in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, the stagnation of the peace process, and the ongoing settlements, Judaization, expropriation, and arrests carried out by Israel [against the Palestinians] – and we can appreciate the scope and gravity of the challenges addressed by the Doha summit.

"[Addressing these challenges] requires a brave stand, decisive resolutions, and united positions, so that the ummah will once again rise and shake off the dust of fitna, schism, and chaos."


[1] Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia), March 26, 2013.

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