The Desired Arab Openness in Iraq

  • 12 December 2007

In the period following the fall of the Sadddam regime in 2003, the Arab role on the Iraqi scene faced several difficulties and complications that inhibited its effectiveness. Some of these complications pertained to the security situation that endangered the lives of foreign diplomats. Other factors were political in nature, and related to stances of some parties and forces that were averse to the role of Arabs.

However, this did not prevent Arabs from continuing to pay attention to Iraq. They continued to help Iraq in solving its crises and reuniting its feuding parties by achieving reconciliation through various means. The UAE has particularly been at the forefront in this respect, and did not abandon Iraq or Iraqis at any point in time. It has made a lot of effort at the political and humanitarian levels to assist Iraqis in alleviating their difficulties, and has helped its politicians in uniting their feuding factions. Recently, Iraq has witnessed major successes in confronting terrorism. This has led to a noticeable improvement in the security situation, and it has become clear that Arabs are dealing with the whole of Iraq as one unit, and are not distancing themselves from any faction on the Iraqi scene. Arabs view Iraq as an important cornerstone for Arab national security, and they care for its stability and integrity. In this context, a recent statement by Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebary is significant, in that it reveals that the Iraqi government has received a request from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to reopen their diplomatic missions in Baghdad. Iraq is consistently in need of Arab cooperation with it, and such openness in the present scenario is of greater importance because it enhances the security achievements made on the Iraqi scene. It gives the Iraqi government a strong push in the face of the forces of evil, terrorism, and extremism. It also proves that Iraq is not alone in facing its big challenges, and that it has Arabs on its side, who would always intervene and contribute in accordance with the prevailing situation.

The Arab openness towards Iraq is essential because of the location of Iraq, its role, and its importance in the Arab world. Any internal development in Iraq has a direct effect on the security and stability of the whole region. It also makes cooperation with Iraq essential for confronting the sources of danger and for eliminating those radical forces that have tried to establish their bases in Iraq for launching operations in neighboring countries. This is not just an important matter, but an inevitable one too. Therefore, it is hoped that the recent steps taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as stated by the Iraqi foreign minister, would be a prelude to greater Arab openness on Baghdad in coming times, which would help restore Iraq to its Arab moorings, and would correspondingly mark the return of Arabs to Iraq.