Disappointment at the Arab Parliamentary Conference [Archives:2001/29/Front Page]
The 39th two-day emergency round of the Arab Parliamentary Conference wound up successfully last Thursday July 11 in the capital, Sana’a. The meeting was held with the objective of discussing the Palestinian issue and means of supporting it. However, an atmosphere of disappointment ensued due to the low-level representation of some Arab governments, who could even be interpreted by others as taking the issue of the Intifada and the dangers jeopardizing it lightly. These countries are actually lagging behind in discharging their national responsibility to support the defenseless Palestinians who are subject to extermination, war, aggression and sanctions. Whatever excuses these countries may offer, history shall be the best judge.
The meeting, in which 19 Arab states participated, resulted in the Sana’a Declaration whereby the Arab states expressed their wholehearted support for the Palestinians. The report hailed the Palestinians’ stand against Israeli aggressive and terrorist measures. The report also indicated the Palestinians’ indispensable right to liberate their lands, and allow the return home of Palestinian refugees. It also emphasized the right of the Palestinians to shape their own future by establishing an independent state in their home lands, with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital.
Arab Parliamentary Union representatives stressed the point that these rights should be implemented in compliance with international resolutions, in particular those No. 181, 194, 242, 338 endorsed by the UNGA, SC and those resolutions endorsed by the International Parliaments’ Union held in Amman and Jakarta in 2000. In their final report, Arab Parliamentary members renewed their stand and stated that al-Quds is part and parcel of the occupied Arab territories, as well as completely condemning attempts made by the Zionist entity to de-arabize the ethnic and religious demography of Palestinian lands. They also condemned Israeli actions which violate the holy sanctuaries in al-Quds and Israel’s continued attempts to deport Palestinians form the city. Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab lands are (according to the Arab Parliamentarians) an outrageous violation of UN resolutions, and the principles of International Law, as well as being overtly aggressive against both the Palestinians and the Arab world.
Arab Parliamentary members called on the international community to force Israel to remove its settlements, and also agreed to offer all available means of supporting the Intifada and the Palestinians’ struggle against them.They particularly called on countries sponsoring the peace process to adhere to the resolutions of both the Security Council and the emergency round of the UN General Assembly. Participating Parliamentary members also called on the international community to bring war criminals and violators of human rights among the Israeli occupying forces to trial, especially the terrorist Ariel Sharon.
The report also called on all types of unions, peoples’ organizations and people in the Arab world to back the Palestinians and their national authorities, headed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It also called for the establishment of Peoples’ committees in all Arab countries to raise funds so as to ensure that the Intifada against the Zionist occupying forces continues, and the cessation of all political, economic and cultural contacts with the Zionist entity, so long as it continues in its aggression and sanctions against the Palestinians.
The report also condemned Israeli attacks against Syria and Lebanon, and expressed complete support for Syria’s objective of recovering the entire Golan Heights area, which is in accordance with UN resolutions Nos 242 and 338. It also condemned the partisan stance of the US in siding with the Zionist occupying forces, and especially its decision to transfer the US embassy from west to east Jerusalem. It called the EU and European Parliament to intensify their efforts to establish a fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and to increase their pressure on Israel to stop its aggression against the Palestinians and implement the International resolutions.
The council agreed to hold the 10th conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union at Khartoum in February 2002 and assigned the union chairmanship and its general secretariat to pursue the issue and proceed with all preparations in collaboration with the Sudanese department.
Yasser M. Ahmad