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A Call for the Algeria Summit: | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In a few days, the periodical annual Arab Summit will be held in Algiers amidst dangerous national, regional and international climates replete with all kinds of challenges. The summit will be held in the shadow of an emotional state that leans towards being suspicious of everything that is Arab and absolute despairing of any Arab thinking, effort or future. The main pillar of this strategy of despair is granting legitimacy to foreign political, intellectual and actual guardianship. This means that the rejecter or criticizer to this guardianship becomes –according to the strategy of despair- either a mad person who is unable to think, a naïve person who understands nothing about politics or an imaginative person who strays away from reality.

Thus, the climates of challenges, dangers and strategies of suspicion anddesperation all makes it imperative to engage in the opposite.

This means that the Arab Summit has to pour overwhelming and satisfying doses of self-confidence into its mind, body and spirit. Not one singleindividual, state or nation will fall as long as self-confidence is assured and retained. They fall only when it is lost. This is not just an educational rule; it is also political, social and cultural.

If the enemies and those of our own skin who hasten towards them, focus on all that weakens self-confidence and all that makes us condemn our past, present and future, then one of the priorities of the Arab leaders should be conducting research for all that renews self-confidence to resist suspicions, despair and attempts to annihilate the personality. The Arab Leaders will not lack the tools to achieve this. Among the strongest factors to renew self-confidence is remembering the achievements and noble actions and what kind of tangible success it had accomplished.

The appropriate model to remember in our present context is the Lebanese National Reconciliation Document which was known as the Tai’f Accords. Why? Well because it was an Arab idea, an Arab story, an Arab scenario, an Arab drafting, an Arab directorship that took place on Arab land (Tai’f, Saudi Arabia). Using the Tai’f Accords as an example has its objective implications and incentives, which are:

1-Declaiming the present well-spread accusation or statement that the Arabs cannot take any serious, collective and fruitful action.

2-The Tai’f Accord saved Lebanon from a destructive civil war that had it continued, would have made Lebanon nothing but a historical arena of mere ruins. It seems that time has brought the climate back to one of civil war. We pray to God Almighty to protect Lebanon and the Lebanese people from the repetition of those horrific times.

3-The memory of the prominent man of Lebanon Rafiq Al-Hariri still fills the place and time. The man undoubtedly has high accomplishments, the most glittering of which is his profound contributions and sincere peaceful struggle to make Tai’f Accord a reality.

4-The Tai’f Accord is both a theoretical and applicative document that testifies for the success of the common Arab effort.

To prove of this effort we have to carefully and objectively read the main topics: –

A- “. Lebanon is a sovereign, free, and independent country and a final homeland for all its citizens.

B-Lebanon is Arab in belonging and identity. It is an active and founding member of the Arab League and is committed to the league”s charter. It is an active and founding member of the United Nations Organization and is committed to its charters. Lebanon is a member of the non-aligned movement. The state of Lebanon shall embody these principles in all areas and spheres, without exception.

C-Lebanon is a democratic parliamentary republic founded on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of expression and belief, on social justice, and on equality of rights and duties among all citizens, without discrimination or preference.

D-. Abolishing political sectarianism is a fundamental national objective. To achieve it, it is required that efforts be made in accordance with a phased plan. The Chamber of Deputies elected on the basis of equal sharing by Christians and Muslims shall adopt the proper measures to achieve this objective and to form a national council which is headed by the president of the republic and which includes, in addition to the prime minister and the Chamber of Deputies speaker, political, intellectual, and social notables. The council”s task will be to examine and propose the means capable of abolishing sectarianism, to present them to the Chamber of Deputies and the cabinet, and to observe implementation of the phased plan. The following shall be done in the interim period:

1- Abolish the sectarian representation base and rely on capability and specialization in public jobs, the judiciary, the military, security, public, and joint institutions. As well as eliminating sectarianism in the independent agencies in accordance with the dictates of national accord, excluding the top-level jobs and equivalent jobs which shall be shared equally by Christians and Muslims without allocating any particular job to any sect.

2- Abolish the mention of sect and denomination on the identity card.

E-The administrative division shall be recognized in a manner that emphasizes national fusion within the framework of preserving common coexistence and unity of the soil, people, and institutions.

F-The curricula shall be reviewed and developed in a manner that strengthens national belonging, fusion, spiritual and cultural openness, and that unifies textbooks on the subjects of history and national education.

G-All media shall be reorganized under the canopy of the law and within the framework of responsible liberties that serve the cautious tendencies and with the objective of ending the state of war.

H- Considering that the objective of the State of Lebanon is to spread its authority over all the Lebanese territories through its own forces (primarily by the internal security forces) and in view of the fraternal relations binding Syria to Lebanon, the Syrian forces shall thankfully assist the forces of the legitimate Lebanese government. This is in order to spread the authority of the State of Lebanon within a set period of no more than 2 years, beginning with ratification of the national accord charter, election of the president of the republic, formation of the national accord cabinet, and approval of the political reforms constitutionally. At the end of this period, the two governments — the Syrian Government and the Lebanese National Accord Government — shall decide to re-deploy the Syrian forces in Al-Biq”a area from Dahr al-Baydar to the Hammana – al-Mudayrij – ”Ayn Darah line, and if necessary, at other points to be determined by a joint Lebanese-Syrian military committee. An agreement shall also be concluded by the two governments to determine the strength and duration of the presence of Syrian forces in the above-mentioned areas and to define these forces” relationship with the Lebanese state authorities where the forces exist. The Arab Tripartite Committee is prepared to assist the two states, if they so wish to develop this Agreement.

I- Lebanon, with its Arab identity, is tied to all the Arab countries by true fraternal relations. Between Lebanon and Syria there is a special relationship that derives its strength from the roots of blood relationships, history, and joint fraternal interests. This is the concept on which the two countries” co-ordination and cooperation is founded, and which will be embodied by the agreements between the two countries in all areas in a manner that accomplishes the interests of the two fraternal countries within the framework of the sovereignty and independence of each of them. Therefore because these bonds, Lebanon should not be allowed to constitute a source of threat to Syria”s security, and Syria should not be allowed to constitute a source of threat to Lebanon”s security under any circumstances.

J-Taking all the steps necessary to liberate all Lebanese territories from the Israeli occupation, to spread state sovereignty over all the territories, and to deploy the Lebanese army in the border area adjacent to Israel. “

This represents an authentic, shared, refined and civilized Arab effort. It is also rational and practical. Undoubtedly, the Tai’f Accord is more rational, accurate, extensive, peaceful, and realistic than Security Council Resolution 1559.

The Lebanese people are divided on Security Council Resolution 1559, however, they are in consensus with regards to the Tai’f Accord as both the opposition and the supporters of the government call for the its application. The Member of Parliament Bahia Al Hariri summarized this harmony well when she said “We will not write off a single letter from this Accord which maintains consensus among the Lebanese today. We will return respect and prominence to its articles and will compose a national committee to follow its application. This committee will represent all the Lebanese and will transform this document once more from a mere slogan to a reality. We will not go back to point zero because the dialogue is over and the Tai’f Accord has become a constitution. All we have to do now is to search for ways in which to implement it and not search for a new accord.”

What does this mean? This means that the Arab political thought could be creative and that Arabs could produce fruitful and collective answers to complicated and even violent challenges. It also means that it is possible for the Arabs to implement what they had agreed upon and complete what they have started, namely the efforts to save Syria and Lebanon through the application of Tai’f Accord.

Finally, it means also that the Tai’f Accord is a model to be used as an example by which other Arab responses could be measured. By both Ways that is completion of what has been started and creating new and fresh responses, self-confidence would be renewed -a necessity that is on the top of the Arab priority list.