Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Assad running scared, but Arab League has failed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Arab League, and its Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, seeking the assistance of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas movement and its leader Khalid Meshal in order to deliver a message to Bashar al-Assad and convince him of the necessity of halting the violence that is being carried out against the unarmed Syrian people means two things: Firstly, this mean that the al-Assad regime is truly frightened of its impending downfall. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, this demonstrates the failure of the Arab League, and its Secretary-General, in a clear and undeniable manner.

Al-Assad is frightened of the direction that the Syrian revolution is headed in, particularly as it is clear that it is moving towards the complete destruction of his internal regime. There are clear reasons for this analysis that are well known by all those Arab officials concerned with the Syrian file, particularly those who visited Damascus during the early days of the revolution. At this time, the Hamas leadership volunteered to mediate between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the al-Assad regime; however the al-Assad regime was incensed and enraged by the “audacity” and “nerve” of the Hamas leadership to make such an offer. Indeed, the Syrian regime’s response at the time was extremely acerbic, and the al-Assad leadership would relate the story of the Hams offer to visitors and ask “can you believe their nerve?” However what happened today is that this same al-Assad regime has accepted this same mediation offer, and this means that the al-Assad regime is in deep trouble and truly frightened. It is this fear that has led it to accept the mediation of a figure such as Khalid Meshal who was, until last year, a card in Bashar al-Assad’s hands.

This is what the acceptance of the Hamas mediation tells us about the al-Assad regime. As for the Arab League, the announcement of the Hamas mediation in this regard demonstrates its failure, and the failure of its Secretary-General [Nabil Elaraby]. This also represents a genuine disappointment to everyone who wrongly believed that the Arab League had begun to try to operate according to the concept of states and institutions, rather than the concept of utilizing Khalid Meshal, whose organization is funded by Iran, which makes Hamas no different than the other Iranian agent, Hezbollah. This is because both Hamas and Hezbollah are allies of Tehran, which has explicitly announces its support for the al-Assad regime, indeed Iran said that its support for the al-Assad regime is non-negotiable. Therefore, with this in mind, how can the Arab League seek the assistance of Hamas or Khalid Meshal, to convince al-Assad to halt the violence?

This is a completely unbelievable state of affairs and represents clear evidence of the failure of the Arab League and its Secretary-General. After all the statements that have been issued by the Arab League and its Secretary General, not to mention the head of the [Arab League] ministerial committee that is responsible for dealing with the Syrian file, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim; is it logical for the Arab League’s operations to culminate in seeking the assistance of Khalid Meshal to convince al-Assad to halt the violence? Moreover, and so long as this is the mentality and level of the Arab League’s operations, we must not be surprised tomorrow if the Arab League seeks the assistance of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to convince Iran not to close the Strait of Hormuz! This is truly a disappointing and shameful state of affairs!