The Arab Summit: Qatar-Bahrain’s Magnificent Gift to the Amman Arab Summit [Archives:2001/13/Focus]
The 16 of March 2001 would be a memorable date in the recent history of both sisterly Arab states of Bahrain and Qatar and that of the entire Arab nation. That date marked the end of a long-standing territorial dispute between the two states that dates back to the 1930s. The UN International Court of Justice issued on March 16 its verdict on the Bahraini-Qatar territorial dispute which was immediately accepted and welcomed by both states represented by both Emirs Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar. The ICJ verdict resolved that kind of inter-Arab dispute following several years of consideration of documents presented to the court by both countries’ governments, putting a final end to it. Millions of Arab congratulations are pouring into the political leaderships and the people of Bahrain and Qatar on this great accomplishment. It depicts the wisdom and sincere patriotism of the two countries’ leaders and their keenness on sparing Arab blood and energies while channeling them towards more important internal and external Arab issues. THESE POSE challenges and threats to the Arab nation’s future. The Bahraini-Qatari accomplishment embodies another example on how the Arabs should resolve their internal differences and disputes in a brotherly and civilized way while preserving the interests of their countries in particular, and those of their nation in general. With this magnificent achievement, the leaders of Bahrain and Qatar have brought happiness and ecstasy to their people and the entire Arab nation. The CELEBRATION of festivals held in both Bahrain and Qatar are living examples of the great joy it has created.
The recently reached agreement would open a new bright chapter of brotherly relations between the two countries. Horizons are now wide open before them to invest this occasion in further cooperation in various economic, social and political areas yielding great benefits to both countries and consequently to the Arab nation as a whole. Meanwhile this achievement is the best gift that Bahrain and Qatar have prepared to present to the coming Arab summit in Amman. They have written off one of the thorny Arab issues that would have required consideration by the summit and thus spared its effort and time to be devoted to tackling other urgent Arab issues on its agenda. Arab leaders, in their summit, should give both Emirs of Qatar and Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa an especially warm welcome. Congratulations in the expression of appreciation for their accomplishment will go a long way to promote the interests of their people and an Arab nation.
The Arab summit this time will be the first regular meeting following the decision of the Arab leaders at their previous summit, arising from a proposal by the republic of Yemen in this regard. The convening of the Arab summit comes at a very critical stage which the Arab nation is facing. It is a stage permeated with internal and external challenges that need to be tackled very seriously. The major task the Arab summit must undertake is that related to the serious developments of the Palestinian cause. For almost a decade the Palestinian people have been facing the dubious designs of Israel and its procrastination in fulfilling the accords concerning the peaceful settlement in Palestine based on the UN’s relevant resolutions. Israel, strongly backed by the U.S., has not, up till now, shown any real and genuine intention to establishing peace in occupied Palestine. The last six months has witnessed Israel’s dishonoring of its pledges and the accords which it signed with the Palestinians. For more than six months the Israeli occupation army have been waging a war of total annihilation against the defenseless Palestinian people in the West Bank, and other territories under the Palestinian authority, as well as the towns and villages in the areas occupied since 1948. Israel is also imposing a harsh economic siege on the Palestinian areas in an attempt to bring the Palestinian intifada to its knees. The Palestinian cause and its tragic developments are the topmost priority on agenda of this summit. The Arab leaders are under pressure to adopt clear-cut resolutions and recommendations leading to the realization of just, durable and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause, which is the central issue of the Arab nation. The Arab masses are fed up with the previous summits’ statements of denunciation that only brought more disaster to the people of Palestine throughout the past decades. The Arab masses are demanding their leaders to fully shoulder the responsibility towards this issue as their posts dictate for them.
The Arab summit should come out with active and effective resolutions in support of the Palestinian Intifada and appreciate the steadfastness of the Palestinian people against the increasing Israeli atrocities and suppression against them in the occupied territories. It is also a must that there should be substantial material support, approved at the Cairo emergency summit, in addition to all available channels (diplomatic and others) of various countries supporting Arab rights. The Arab countries should not neglect the question of mutual interests they have with world countries, especially the U.S. and Europe as a card of pressure with those countries in regard to the Palestinian issue. Also there must be a mechanism for following up implementation of resolutions and recommendations to be adopted by the summit. A high ranking follow-up committee should be set up to be accountable for the summit.
The second top priority on the summit’s agenda is the situation between Kuwait and Iraq and the harsh sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people for more than a decade. It is an issue embodying a bleeding wound in the body of the Arab nation. Therefore all efforts should be exerted and all forces should be joined to seriously tackle this highly important issue for the Arab nation. Negative developments in Arab relations, particularly the conflicts between Arab regimes, have proved that they serve others’ interests at the expense of Arab rights and destiny. Revival of the Arab nation’s effective role necessitates work for opening a new chapter of fraternity and cooperation. In their present summit all Arab leaders should spare no effort for reconciling viewpoints and the attitudes of the two parties. A thorough study and consideration should be prevented at the summit regarding all causes of the conflict and ways of tackling them in a spirit of fraternity, securing the interest of the whole Arab nation. All matters related to the issue must be discussed with utter frankness and sincerity and there must be genuine intentions aimed at putting an end to all pending issues between the two parties. In the recent days prior to holding the Arab summit, there have been certain contacts and visits made by some Arab leaders and officials in an attempt to find a common ground for finding a solution to the issue between Iraq and Kuwait. Arab masses see in these efforts a ray of hope for reaching a solution but they are waiting for more positive material results for ending this issue. Let’s all pray that the Arab leaders’ sincere efforts will result positively and give birth to a new era of fraternal cooperation among all Arab countries . This will be in the best of interests of the Arab nation which is facing the most dangerous challenge in her history.