I had the honor of attending with the cream of Arab thinkers; i.e. the Arab Summit, recently held in Mecca, as well as the Islamic and Gulf Summits. They are three summits held at a real tough situation in light of the stand-off between Iran and the United States.
The relations between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear agreement between Europe and the U.S. on the one side, and Iran, on the other, in 2018. Recently, the US toughened the penalties on Iran’s oil sector starting May. Washington has also sent military reinforcement in the Arab Gulf to counter the “Iranian threats.”
In a press conference after the Arab Summit, Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit said the urgent Arab summit in Mecca was meant to send a real decisive message due to the interference of foreign parties in the Arab affairs.
Abul Gheit also said the leaders and heads of the Arab states had a clear national security strategy. The Arab reaction to the summit was an example, he added.
He also said the Arab countries and the Arab League do not press for a confrontation in the Arab Gulf. They want stability to return and peace to prevail, with one condition; i.e. the Arab rights are respected and interference in Arab affairs is stopped.
In their statement, the Islamic summit voiced solidarity with Riyadh and expressed their “support to all procedures taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its national security and oil supplies.
Such statements coincided with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s threat that any war against Tehran “would not remain on the borders of Iran” but would spread throughout the region. He also said the U.S. interests in the region would be a target.
Also, the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty on Al-Quds prevailed in the final communiqué. The U.S. administration’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty on Golan Heights was not condemned.
The summit also attacked “the transfer of the U.S. and Guatemala embassies to Al-Quds” as an act of aggression.
The Islamic summit leaders also said “any proposal presented by any party” that does not recognize the Palestinian rights and does not meet the internationally-backed references on which the peace process in the Middle East is based is not accepted.
They also called on Israel to recognize the Palestinian state with Al-Quds – East Jerusalem – as its capital.
The Islamic countries’ stand came before the U.S. peace plan, termed “the Deal of the Century” was disclosed. The U.S. will propose the economic aspects of that so-called peace plan in a conference due in Bahrain on 25 and 26 of June.
On the Golan Heights, the participants in Mecca condemned “the U.S. decision to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, terming it illegal, null and void.”
On March 21, the U.S. president recognized Israel’s inclusion of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel in 1967, “a decision that does not agree with Washington’s policies for decades in this respect.”
Abul Gheit praised the Arab states’ quick response to the summit and the high representation of the Arab countries in the summit. Yet, the road is still too long to achieve the targets.
The European Union achieved its targets, thanks to its members’ commitment that made it a political and legal organization till to date. The European leaders have overcome the national identity to what is behind. This idea comes from countries, such as Germany and Italy, to reflect that the E.U. is more inclusive, beyond language and identity.
The Arab thought stumbled, and did not show clear in a nation-state.
It looks into its potentials to what is higher and more spacious.
The three summits reflect that everything is possible and Arabs have all the potentials to come together in unity and cooperation. Strong will is needed.