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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things aren't always what they appear to be

Isn't it funny how things aren't always what they appear to be? Back in March, just before the Arab League summit, we were told that the Arab League was anxious to have 'closer ties' with Iran. What we weren't told was the denouement of the proposals by Arab League Chairman Amr Moussa to forge those closer ties. It seems that most of the Arab countries rejected the idea outright.
At the recent Arab League summit held March 27-28 in Sirte, Libya, league secretary-general 'Amr Moussa made two proposals aimed at strengthening ties between the Arab states and Iran and allowing the latter to play an active role in the Arab world.

The first proposal was to create a forum within the Arab League to represent countries neighboring Arab states, in order to increase mutual coordination and cooperation, while advancing interests shared by both the Arab and non-Arab states. Though many Asian, African, and even European countries were named as candidates for membership in the proposed forum, it was abundantly clear that Iran would be the most significant member.

The Arab League countries received the proposal with reservations and even hostility, Qatar being the only state to express explicit support. It was ultimately decided to postpone discussions of the proposal for six months, at which time a special summit conference would be held to address the matter.

Moussa's second proposal was to initiate a dialogue between the Arab states and Iran. In his address at the summit's opening session, he claimed that this dialogue was essential, saying, "Even though I realize the level of concern over Iran's positions, this does not negate the need for holding talks. Despite our clash with [Iran], we have a common history and geography."[1] This proposal was not mentioned at all in the summit's closing statement.[2]
If you read the whole thing, you will see that Syria gave 'cautious approval' for the proposal to create a forum, but not for dialogue (which proposal it said was grounded in 'bad intentions' toward Iran). The rest of the Arab League apparently said no.

Do you think the Arabs want Iran stopped? Read the whole thing.


At 11:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Arabs wonder if America will stand up for them. In that respect the picture is far from reassuring and paradoxically enough, American pressure on Israel has made the Arabs even more skittish. Iraq has already cut a deal with Syria and Iran. And if the Obama Administration continues to regard the Iranian nuclear threat as a low level matter, the number of Arab desertions could only grow.

So yes, things are not what they appear to be - in the sense that time is not on the Obami's side.


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