Nouakchott — The summit of lost hope

Sunday 31/07/2016

The Arab League’s vain half-day summit in Mauritania amounted to a declaration of its own collapse as a unifying framework for Arab leaders who are incapa­ble of reaching a minimum accord to confront the perils threatening the Arab nation.

The July 25th meeting was the most genuine reflection of the state of Arab division and disar­ray, the worst since the League of Arab States was founded 70 years ago.

The Nouakchott meeting will be memorialised as the most poorly attended summit of the 22-mem­ber Arab League. Even Palestin­ians, whose cause was the catalyst behind the founding of the Arab League, were absent, raising fears that the meeting could be the last summit of what remains of the Arab nation.

What separates Arab states, including wars and political differences, is way bigger than what brings them together. The summit’s flowery statements were nothing but an obsolete recipe, which does not make any differ­ence or any sense.

Instead of releasing statements of denial and pretence, the Arab summit should have made propos­als for resolving the region’s many crises. That is why the only news from the summit was the open­ing in the presence of those who attended, while the redundant closing statement was deemed unworthy of space in the media.

When the large majority of Arab countries were strong and run by tenacious regimes, the summits consistently failed to come up with solutions to the host of com­plex and entangled issues faced. So, why should anyone expect the summit of lost hope in Nouakchott to succeed at a time when crises have multiplied and become more intricate, a time when the region is falling apart, with some coun­tries almost disappearing from the map while others are plagued with terrorism and yet others hijacked by militias and parties working according to foreign agendas, irrespective of their countries’ in­terests and the future of the Arab nation?

Arab leaders have been meeting to no avail for 70 years to review and discuss means to recover Palestine, which was seized by the Zionists from its own people, and without succeeding in recovering one inch of the usurped land. How would anyone expect them to be able to act now, in such a state of disarray, to deal with the enemy (Israel) or countries seized by terrorism and others usurped by armed militias and reeling under ignorance, tribalism and fanati­cism?

Dangers hanging over the Arab world have two main origins — economy and security. The two go together, though security takes priority, since economy cannot develop and flourish without security.

Hence, efforts have been aimed at safeguarding Arab national security at the expense of the Arabs’ core cause, Palestine. But the problem lies in the fact that certain Arab states have failed to properly maintain their own security and lacked the decency to name matters as they are and to define terrorism that some have helped create and expand.

That is why the Arab League has not dared to identify the source and origins of terrorism or to dis­tinguish between friends and foes, resulting in deeper confusion and disarray. Is Israel still the Arabs’ number one enemy? If yes, why should they disregard this enemy? If there is a new enemy, is it right to forget about the first one?

The poor state of the Arab League is a natural result of the foiled uprisings that, at first, raised high hopes among the people who revolted calling for freedom, dignity and decent living, thinking they could lead to elected parlia­ments, security services, army and judiciary that could express their aspirations of getting free from past political regimes.

The raging fires sweeping the Arab world, from Iraq to Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia prove that Arabs are incapable of pre­serving their present. Do they deserve to lead the nation in the future?