Sharm El-Sheikh and a Chance to Rescue Iraq

  • 3 May 2007

The International Conference on Iraq is being held today and tomorrow in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, within the ambit of international and regional efforts to rescue Iraq from its stifling crisis, and to help usher a new phase of development, security, and reconciliation.

Undoubtedly, the conference offers a big opportunity to Iraq and all the parties, as it paves the way for genuine and dedicated effort at various levels to address the Iraqi crisis. The Iraqi administration is expected to prove to the world that it belongs to all Iraqis and does not favor one sect above the other. It should reassure all regional parties and attract them into cooperating in a fruitful manner. It is also expected to provide serious, effective, and comprehensive visions regarding the means to achieve national reconciliation and guarantee the coexistence of all Iraqi people within one State. Other regional and international parties, estimated at 50 countries, are also expected to overcome their differences in order to reach an agreement to draw an international strategy to rescue and restore Iraq, as its downfall will ensue a new wave of violence and turmoil throughout the region, whose catastrophic effects may reach different parts of the world. If the current battle is waged against terrorism on the Iraqi territory, it is the Iraqis who are suffering its consequences. They are the ones shedding their blood and risking their lives and the futures of their children. All the people within and outside the Middle East will endure the outcome of such a war.

Iraq is currently in a dangerous situation, as it has become the scene of regional and international conflict. The failure of every step aimed at the remedying the crisis has further complicated the issue. It is high time that a major and genuine international effort to save Iraq is initiated, whose daily carnage is screaming in the face of the world and has become a thorn at its side.

An international agreement on Iraq that the conference at Sharm El-Sheikh intends to pass at the end of its session tomorrow would undoubtedly mark an important stage and be a positive step toward the reinforcement and support of the international role on the Iraqi scene. However, more important than the terms and references of this agreement would be the effective implementation of it and the will to execute it faithfully. Iraq has witnessed plenty of agreements and covenants in the past, but the lack of their proper execution has exacerbated the situation despite all regional and international efforts and strategies.

In spite of the insistence on the regional and international role in Iraq, the people of Iraq would have to play the most important part, through the leadership of their political and religious forces. In the absence of the will to coexist, reconcile, break with the past, and look forward to the future among Iraqis, the outcome of all conferences, documents, and plans would be of no avail.

It is high time that both Iraq and the region wake up from this frustrating nightmare, through the will of the 50 countries participating at the conference today. Such a positive attitude will indubitably push Iraq quickly and strongly out of this abyss… First, though, let there be the will to guarantee it.