Clear successes, disguised failures

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) Both, the Palestinian conflict and Iran's interference in Arab affairs, figured high in the 29th Arab summit, dubbed as the "Jerusalem summit."

The 16 Arab heads of state, who attended the summit with the remaining Arab countries represented by high-level delegations, did their best to avoid controversial issues that still divide the Arab world and succeeded in doing so.

The issue of Jerusalem and its protection from Israeli designs and actions, especially with regard to the holy places in East Jerusalem, won unanimous Arab support and there was, therefore, no room for any Arab discord.

The open rejection and condemnation of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, coupled with the decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, were rallying points on which the Arab summit leaders could easily agree on.

Arab blessing of the Hashemite custodianship of the Islamic and Christian holy places in East Jerusalem was a big feat for Jordan, which through the Jerusalem Islamic Awqaf, has successfully extended valuable protection to these sites.

The reaffirmation of the Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the Beirut Arab summit in 2002 was also a major highlight of the Arab gathering. Surprisingly though, there was also Arab support to the notion that Iran is meddling in Arab affairs, whether in Yemen where the Houthis had been firing long-range missiles across the bow in Saudi Arabia that can only be supplied and deployed with direct Iranian support, as well as in Syria and Iraq, where Tehran is suspected of having strong presence.

As can be expected, there was no visible Arab unanimity on the recent attack by the US, Britain and France on three Syrian chemical weapons facilities in and around Damascus and Homs, even though the use of chemical weapons in Douma on April 7 shocked the entire international community.

While some Arab capitals openly welcomed the Western attack, some decided to remain on the sideline, such as Lebanon and Iraq for understandable reasons. The Arab summit was, therefore, a mixture of open successes and disguised failures, with a deliberate effort to stay away from controversial issues that still divide the Arab world.


Jordan Times

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