Tepid summit at hot atmospheres [Archives:2006/944/Opinion]

May 8 2006

By: Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
Sadness had overshadowed the faces of those who attended the Khartoum summit. They have been affected with tedium maybe even from themselves and the futile meetings they attend. The leaders who went to the meeting venue in Khartoum looked as if they were forced to attend it. The Sudanese president Al-Basheer, chairman of the summit meeting looked morose, and possibly he has the right particularly with absence of many Arab leaders for which one wonders the reason.

The date of the summit is known and fixed a year before and consequently there was no excuse for him to say he had obligations beforehand. The absentees' health is very good and there was no mention that one of them had caught any illness and their states are stable as it did not happen that any domestic troubles forced this leader or that to lag behind for the interest of his people and protection of stability in his country.

They might have felt that their attendance was equal to their absence. For what reason? Maybe if they had attended the stand would have nit changed. There may be only photographs shot for keepsake and exchange of greetings with their counterparts. It seems that all leaders are absent on purpose and in response to the other's will and the other is in this regards the great Satan that take advantage of any summit meeting to cast on it its reckless adventures.

America had done much at Khartoum summit. At the beginning it attempted to prevent its convening in the Sudan, encouraged by the reality of its success in this regard at the African summit which was held in Khartoum last January when it managed to wring out chairmanship of Sudan of the African union and granted its chairmanship to the Congo on the eve of the Arab summit America submitted a draft resolution, passed immediately on the 24th of last month demanding the deployment of international forces in Darfur. America went on in its pressures on the conferees at the Arab summit to encircle Sudan and compel it abide by resolutions of the international legitimacy, i.e. accept internationalization of the issue of Darfur.

As for the Iraqi issue, America has decided beforehand. The Arabs have no effect or say on it after the Bush administration decided to hold talks about it with Iran. Also there is the Palestinian cause and this also the Arabs have no relation to it either way. America had dictated on the Arab leaderships to not provide the government of Hamas with any funds. Moreover, convention of the Arab summit had coincided with Israel holding its 17th Knesset elections and Israel alone was given the task of drawing up future scenarios of want would be the Palestinian situation.

The Lebanon and Syria is an issue decided internationally by America and it is not believable the Arabs would be involved in it otherwise they would expose themselves to grave embarrassment.

The only thing missed by the leaders who did not attend the Arab summit was the meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan who was keen on attending a summit whose parties were absent.

There remains the question strongly repeated in the Arab street on what is the avail of those summits whether they were periodic of emergent. What is the way for leaving the vicious circle inside which the official Arab incapability inside it?

Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb is an economist and a professor in Political Science. He is the head of a number of professional associations, such as the Arab Group for Investment and Development.