Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The people want the fall of the Secretary-General | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The only thing worse than the Arab League’s performance with regards to managing the Syrian crisis, is the performance of its Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby. This man has made numerous mistakes, and it is almost as if he is contributing to granting the Bashar al-Assad regime one opportunity after another to continue to slaughter its own people as if it were fighting a fierce war against its bitterest enemies, not unarmed civilians.

All of this has taken place in the midst of Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby undertaking official visits to Damascus, during which he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Following one such meeting, he issued his now infamous statement that Bashar al-Assad had agreed to begin reforms.

Of course, this statement was issued whilst thousands upon thousands of Syrians were being killed and imprisoned. Following this, we saw Elaraby make a series of bad decisions with regards to the Syrian issue, not to mention the issuance of numerous statements that attempted to play down the impact of the crisis on the Syrian people. These Arab League statements included the use of certain provocative expressions which aimed to play down the crisis, including the oft-repeated statement that the Arab League is “concerned” by developments in Syria, not to mention other such meaningless terms. All of this aimed to play down what is happening in the Syrian streets, and the brutal crimes and atrocities being committed against the unarmed Syrian people by the regime. This was until the situation reached the end of the road, and the Syrian regime was forced to accept the Arab League delegation of monitors, who have travelled to Syria to see the situation for themselves.

The Arab League has also been strangely receptive of the Syrian regime’s desires, including its demand that this [acceptance of Arab monitors] be announced to coincide with the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh. Whilst Elaraby also failed to object to Syria’s partial “acceptance” of the Arab League initiative; accepting the Arab League protocol, but rejecting the other articles of the initiative. For how can only one article of an agreement or initiative be accepted in this manner? Throughout the negotiations, the Syrian delegation attempted to gain international sympathy, portraying itself as being cooperative, and wanting to sign and accept the Arab League initiative. Indeed this delegation excelled at issuing deceitful and devious statements, stalling the process for weeks, during which hundreds of Syrian people were killed at the hands of brutal Syrian regime security forces.

Even after the al-Assad regime approved this [protocol], the Arab League Secretary-General dealt with the entire issue in a completely unprepared manner. Therefore, a number of days were wasted whilst Elaraby met with delegation members and arranged all the details of this delegation of Arab monitors. It was as if this Syrian acceptance [of the Arab monitors] was completely unexpected and out of the blue, and so he did not have enough time to prepare all the details and requirements of this vital issue, which should have been one of the most important files on the Arab League Secretary-General’s agenda.

Of course, more time was wasted, and more people were killed, during this period, to the point that the death toll over a period of three successive days reached 450. This reflects the brutality and insanity of the al-Assad regime, particularly in its dealings with the Syrian people.

Nabil Elaraby is an individual that appears to be unconvinced of the nature of the crimes that the al-Assad regime is carrying out against the Syrian people. Indeed, he seems to be unduly influenced by the views of his “brother-in-law” Mohamed Hassenein Heikal, who has failed to issue a single objection against the Syrian regime and its brutal practices against the popular Syrian revolution. Everybody knows that Nabil Elaraby, just like Heikal, has a predisposition towards Iranian policy in the region, and this was clear to see in his statements during his short-term as Egyptian Foreign Minister following the ouster of the Hosni Mubarak regime.

In Egypt, and in the Arab world in general, there are many deserving cadres that are well aware that we are now living in an era of freedom and dignity, not one of suppression, humiliation, and disgrace. It seems that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby is not aware of this, and it is as if he believes that the Syrian people do not deserve what the Egyptian people have achieved!

My dear Nabil Elaraby, I think that the time has come for you to enjoy your retirement, after a long career of diplomatic service