Arabs should Rise above Differences

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been stressing that the next Arab summit, scheduled in Algeria in early November, must be the summit of Arab reconciliation. When he was asked about the participation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he welcomed that. This topic sparked controversy behind the scenes. Many Arab leaders and the people view that the time has not yet come for this.

The Arab world needs to reunite, rise above differences and look at threats more than ever. But this will not be achieved by sweeping problems under the carpet. They should come forward to address these problems, because they are complex and difficult and require a common Arab vision. We believe that Al-Ula summit and what followed it in the form of several Arab parlays paved the way for such meetings is an example to be pursued. Terrorism is standing between us, waiting for the opportunity to undermine social peace. Many Arab countries are going through complex political crises. Arab food security is threatened. Arab-Arab relations are not in their best settings. From the Western Sahara crisis to the explosive situation in Iraq, through the Nile water crisis, the conflict in Libya, the situation in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and regional interventions, especially Iranian interference, all of these are threats which need joint Arab action. The Algerian host (of the Arab summit) should work to build bases and common grounds between Arab countries. This is the only way to make the Arab summit a success.

[by Rami Alkhalifa Alali in Okaz]

An Arab Energy Organisation for Unity

The success of the experiment of European region for integration stores lessons also for the Arabs who want to deal with the causes of the failure of their own similar initiatives. For example, if a group of Arab oil and gas producing and exporting countries, which include six Gulf Cooperation Council states as well as Egypt, Algeria, and Iraq, agree to put the oil and gas sector under one management which is a joint Arab supreme authority, they can set up an “Arab Oil and Gas Community”, on the model of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This “authority”, if established, could transform the Arab world not only into a major player in the global oil and gas market, but also turn the Arab oil and gas community into an engine which leads their joint infrastructure projects required for integration of Arabs in various sectors, such as electrical interconnection, ports, airports, roads, etc.

There are certain requirements for the success of any such Arab integrative organisation. The integrative institutions should have all the powers to help it in performing its duty without facing any hindrances. This can happen only by the concessions given by the countries willing to participate in the group. Can the Arab world one day become competent to enter an integrative experience of this kind. This is an experiment which will certainly bring benefits to all participating countries, and at the same time, will help protect the Arab world from the internal and external threats.

[by Hassan Nafaa in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

Compiled and translated by Faizul Haque

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