What is required from the Riyadh Summit? [Archives:2007/1037/Opinion]

March 29 2007

By: Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
Taking a glance at developments in the Arab world and challenges to Arab progress and advancement, one feels that Arab leaders must take care to make the Riyadh Summit, to be held by the end of this month, successful and effective. If they are serious to do so, this is the only thing that can return confidence and hope to Arab citizens, who have become frustrated after being convinced that regional situations are going from bad to worse, as such situations become more and more complicated over time.

We needn't say that Arabs are invited to acknowledge reality without obstinacy, as this constitutes a radical point for any move aimed at reforming the situation, overcoming all weaknesses and re-evaluating joint performance according to new regulations due to enhance the spirituality of contact, solidarity, cooperation and interaction between all Arab world components. Such interaction should allow these components to perform their tasks and duties in the face of analogical challenges.

We think it's objective for Arab leaders to understand the matter well while preparing for the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. They must bear in mind the series of crises in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia and other countries, and that such crises are merely part of the heavy price Arab nations are paying due to their divisions and internal conflicts. These conflicts make it impossible for the Arab world to reach any achievements.

What is required from the Riyadh Summit isn't an enthusiastic statement or recommendations to be added to the files that are forgotten in the Arab League's drawers. Rather, holding the summit is a chance for Arab leaders to contemplate themselves and benefit from past lessons in order to restore a smile to the Arab nations and enliven hope and confidence in the souls of their people.

As President Ali Abdullah Saleh indicated in one of his statements, a nation that has submitted to despair is due to be completely submissive to a culture of subservience and slavery. This is what we don't hope for this nation (the Arab nation), which has a large credit of superiority and creativity throughout the centuries.

Frankly speaking, Arabs have failed to assert themselves and show solidarity and cooperation with each other over the past five decades. They have failed to unify all of their energies, capacities and facilities in the face of their enemies.

There's more than one possibility to bring Arabs together if all of them will agree that they have a joint history, even if that history has experienced several differences, disputes and political conflicts. We needn't make from these differences and conflicts throughout history a justification for the division of the Arabs.

Additionally, any irregular circumstances shouldn't be considered as barriers to progress of joint Arab work, particularly as the Arab nation still has more means to facilitate its exit from being trapped in a bottle and prove its effective presence in today's world. The Arab nation is required to occupy a prestigious status in line with its great history and civilization.

If there's a strong will for agreement and harmony, nothing will be impossible or difficult for the Arab nation to achieve. Do we expect to activate the Arab initiative for a Lebanon Summit via a delegation from U.N. Security Council member states due to visit the region and specify a time frame for setting an international mechanism to come up with a U.N. Security Council Resolution? The Arab nation is required to review its international relations, particularly in economic areas.

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