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Farouk “al Sharakh” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Whenever the Syrian Vice President Farouk al Sharaa discusses politics, he causes a rift within inter-Arab relations. His political discourse is unlike that of politicians; rather, the vocabulary that he uses is similar to the words used by those featured in ‘Iraq’s Most Wanted Playing Cards’ namely, the affiliates of Saddam Hussein’s deposed regime. It is for that reason that he deserves to be called Farouk “al Sharakh” [an Arabic term for someone who causes division].

In his latest presentation during a meeting with the various branches of the National Progressive Front, Farouk “al Sharakh” spoke about the issue of dividing Iraq and the opposition of Syria, Iran and Turkey to such an idea. He stated that Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, also do not want partition since the division of Iraq, according to al Sharaa, would lead to the division of the entire region, thus the “oil resources would be outside of the areas controlled by the Saudi royal family.” It’s as simple as that.

Al Sharaa is discussing regions that are governed by the [Saudi] royal family as if the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not a political entity, a state and a nation. His discourse is reckless and arrogant and is similar to that used by Taha Yassin Ramadan during his last press conference before the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. In this brazen manner, al Sharaa spoke about a country that is considered unique and a model unparalleled in the entire Arab region.

This was the not first case and will probably not be the last of “al Sharakh” making insinuations against Saudi Arabia and it certainly does not help to mend rifts between Arab states. The issue is not about what he said about Saudi Arabia a few days ago or even before that as his remarks relating to Lebanon demonstrate the difference between his thoughts and what Saudis have done so far for sake of stability in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia does not see Arab countries as locations to settle scores and it does not seek to be strong in any country, rather, it only aims to achieve stability in Lebanon and Iraq. Saudi Arabia was the first to warn and stand against dividing Iraq.

If everything that was known was out in the open, I would have mentioned the names of those involved in the following story that I will narrate; however I will respect the agreement between my source and I.

A few days ago, an Arab official told me about a change in his conviction regarding a division that will occur in the region; a division in many Arab countries that is sought by Israel and blessed by the United States. The Arab official told me that he had changed his outlook after a colleague from an Arab state, who is well informed about what is taking place in the region told him, “Two years ago, this [division] would have been possible. However, what Saudi Arabia has done so far, and continues to do within the political realm, has made the idea of partition impossible. The Saudis stood against the idea of the division of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon through ongoing political action and tremendous efforts.”

The Saudis were not dragged into the game of sectarian partisanship; they sought to defuse the conflict with Iran and did not add fuel to the fire of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Moreover, the Saudis strived for the stability of Lebanon without a drop of blood.

This is the conduct of a balanced political system that is based upon an integrated state that seeks to achieve Arab unity and stability. More importantly, the conduct of the state does not use a discourse that is similar to the discourse of Farouk “al Sharakh”.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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