x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Reconciliation summit might start disputes

The London-based Al Quds al Arabi daily an opinion piece by the Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan who said the recent mini Riyadh summit should "clear the Arab air and secure the awaited reconciliation which might eventually entail the success of the regular Arab summit that will be held in Doha at the end of the month."

The London-based Al Quds al Arabi daily an opinion piece by the Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan who said the recent mini Riyadh summit should "clear the Arab air and secure the awaited reconciliation which might eventually entail the success of the regular Arab summit that will be held in Doha at the end of the month." However, he warned, "the difficult labour that preceded it might give the impression it will, in fact, generate new disputes without being able to resolve the dispute for which it was held : between the axes of the Syrian-Egyptian-Saudi triangle."

The success of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in bringing together the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Syrian President Bashar al Assad, will raise the sensitivity of Libya and its leader Muammar al Gaddafi "considering that the Libyan leader previously tried to arrange reconciliation between the Syrian and Egyptian presidents on the sidelines of the consultative summit over the Mediterranean Union." Finally, "the political agenda of the quartet reconciliation summit was not clear, for no one knew whether it aimed at blockading Iran, at breaking Syria's isolation or at using Syria in light of its strong alliance with Tehran to mediate with it and open channels of communication like the American administration is currently doing."

Morocco's Al Tajdid newspaper carried a lead editorial that said regardless of the details of the recent Moroccan-Iranian crisis over alleged Shiite prosletising, a strict Moroccan position has been taken "regarding the targeting of the country's religious and sectarian identity by foreign sides."

Al Tajdid went on to explain that beyond the "Shiitisation threat," there is "Christianisation, and especially that which is sponsored by the American Evangelical networks. Second, there is the challenge of the pressures aiming at imposing normalisation with homosexuality and at annulling its criminalisation. "As for the third challenge, it is that of normalising relations with Zionism and serving the plans aiming at securing the recognition of the Zionist project and its colonial reality in Palestine under the headline of communicating with the Jews abroad."

The fourth challenge, the paper concluded, is that of the policies targeting the Arab language, "for which some French cultural centers in Morocco have been fully mobilised. Throughout these different challenges, Morocco was subjected to blackmail operations in which the Western Sahara issue and sometimes regional alliances were exploited. In short, one can only value sovereign decisions aiming at barricading sectarian unity against foreign attacks."

Syria's Al Watan daily carried a piece by Wassim al Ahmar who wrote that there is currently a prevailing impression within French diplomatic circles that the United States is walking in the footsteps of France at the level of opening up to Damascus, "using the French approach in this regard." According to French sources, Al Ahmar wrote, Washington did not oppose the idea of a national unity government in Palestine, "provided it would be able to operate and carry out its tasks without any hindrance. At the level of Palestinian affairs, Damascus assured the American envoys that it supported Palestinian reconciliation, with the continuation of the reform of the Palestine Liberation Organization and with Hamas's participation."

"In this context, French diplomatic circles concerned by the Middle East dossier believed that the American administration was still reviewing its policy in the region," although al Ahmar suggested that the dominant view is that Obama's administration is being encouraged "to adopt a policy that is closer to the European policy in the Middle East. They have already started doing that in dealing with Syria."

"We can no longer tolerate what is happening between the parliament and the government," wrote Fawziyah Salem Al Sabah, a regular columnist for Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai al Aam. "We no longer understand the developments between the two opposing sides or to which cliff they are leading us after we found ourselves with a government incapable of solving even the simplest of problems and a parliament in which most of the members look only for their personal and electoral interests. We have become a joke in front of the others because of our democracy after we used to pride ourselves on it."

Thus, in the heated battle between the parliament and the government, "the main victim is the country and its people because the only concern for both the government and parliament these days is to search for new weapons to use against each other." As for the MPs, al Sabah added, if their audience is from the middle class, then they promise them that they will endorse projects to set up more houses, provide healthcare, and increase wages. "If the audience belongs to a religious class, then the candidates play on the lines of sectarianism and preventing mixing between men and women and prohibiting parties."

* Digest compiled by www.mideastwire.com