Important Arab Message

  • 5 February 2009

The statements made by Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, after attending the meeting of nine Arab foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi two days ago, had significant implications both in terms of its message and timing. His Highness stressed the countries participating in the meeting are doing their utmost to rid themselves of the difficult phase in the history of the Arab nation, caused by the unhelpful intervention of non-Arab parties in Arab affairs. The meaning of this statement comprises various strands. The first inference is that the Arab cause should remain in the hands of Arabs and not in the hand of others. The second inference to be drawn here is the rejection of any intervention by any non-Arab forces in Arab internal affairs. Recent experiments in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and others have demonstrated that this intervention has caused more tension, disputes and escalation of problems and crises, because outside forces have nothing but  exploited Arab issues to achieve their specific goals at the expenses of Arab interests, development and stability. Third, the statement underscores the necessity of promoting Arab solidarity and unity to address the challenges that face the region at various levels. Recent experience demonstrates that conflicts and inter-Arab tensions have provided the chance to some non-Arab forces to penetrate into the region and extend their power and influence to different parts of the Arab world until they emerge as a major threat to Arab interests and the Arab national security. In the absence of these conflicts, these forces would have not been able to expand their influence in the Arab arena.

Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed indicated that the meeting in Abu Dhabi would be followed by similar Arab meetings in forthcoming weeks, and that these meetings would involve the participation of more foreign Arab ministers. This means that the meeting represents the start of a serious Arab diplomatic move. Some experts look at these developments as the beginning of greater inter-Arab interactions seeking to promote the signs of reconciliation, which had started developing at Kuwait Economic Summit held last week. Moreover, they aim to prepare suitable conditions to provide greater support for the Palestinian Question and for helping the Palestinians at Gaza Strip to leave behind inter-Arab disputes.

Few years ago, the Arab region suffered from two problems: the first was the escalation of inter-Arab disputes that seriously undermined inter-Arab cooperation, and the second was the deepening of the intervention of regional non-Arab parties in Arab affairs. Therefore, any real initiative of any Arab work, capable of affecting current events in the Arab region and the Middle East in general, would have to deal with these two problems. The statements of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan assumes its importance on the basis of these realities, as he brilliantly summed up the essence of the Arab problems and suggested the way to overcome them.