Abbas-Gantz Meeting

The meeting which was held between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz at the latter’s house, and the official Israeli interpretation of it, does not encourage expectation of any progress, even if slight, on the political track. Gantz does not have more than a limited mandate of his government to provide certain facilities to the authority. He has expressed this when he thanked his authority for its efforts in the area of security coordination. He assured to continue his work to rebuild trust between the two sides. But the Palestinian side talked about the political aspect of this meeting.

Nothing was achieved in the meeting which was described as historic. Any movement towards preparing ground for the revival of negotiations will not begin unless there are three decisive wills. The first, of course, is the Israeli will, which seems impossible. Second is the American will, which is crucial for the Israeli will. The third is the reality of the Middle Eastern, which affects Palestine, and which does not give priority to peace between Palestinians and Israelis anymore. If initiating political negotiations is impossible in the absence of effective wills, what remains on the table is the economic or emergency solution which Gantz is working on.

President Abbas will continue to talk about the importance of peace, negotiations, and respect of international law, but at the same time he cannot ignore the economic solution.

[by Nabil Amro in Asharq Al Awsat]

New Government in Iraq

Finally, the Iraqi Federal Court ratified the election results, 80 days after they were held. President Barham Salih issued an order calling Parliament to convene on January 9, 2022, which is, 3 months after the elections.

This date will not resolve the controversy and will not end the crisis. It is just a constitutionally imposed date, during which the new parliament meets for the first time, and it is supposed to elect a speaker and his two deputies.

The next government must adopt a new approach in dealing with problems, strict application of the law, speed and efficiency in implementing vital projects, address economic issues and consolidate Iraq’s relations with important countries. In short, it has to be the size of Iraq.

The Iraqi economy is currently 90 per cent dependent on oil. This situation is not sustainable, particularly when there are expectations of lower prices and industrialised countries depend on alternative sources of energy. It has become imperative for the next government to take firm measures to change the structure of the economy so that Iraq remains cohesive as a sovereign country, without dependence on oil.

Iraq needs big investments, and investors will not come if they do not find someone who can convince them that there is real change in the country. Persuasion is not achieved through words only, but through well-thought-out policies and the ability to implement and adhere to them. It is a major responsibility.

[by Hamid Alkifaey in Sky News Arabia]

Compiled and Translated by Faizul Haque

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