Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Lebanon: An Arab Position is Necessary - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has warned that the Lebanese presidential crisis and its repercussions will continue, especially in light of the failure of the American and European initiatives. The president also stated that the Arab initiative is the only option that remains and stressed that, “If it is not implemented everyone will wash their hands of Lebanon and the country would be lost and no one can know what its future will be.”

Does the failure of initiatives point towards abandoning Lebanon, or does it justify an intervention to end Lebanon’s chronic crisis? My conviction is that there is an obligation for concrete and effective Arab intervention, rather than American or European intervention.

Intervention does not mean retaliating by explosions and dragging the country into wars; there are other more effective forms of intervention and it is within the Arab League’s capacity to play this role through the influential Arab states with Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the forefront. The party responsible for the crisis in Lebanon must pay the price. It is absurd to govern an Arab state from another Arab capital; there is no such thing as a good or bad occupation.

A few weeks ago Syrian Vice President [Farouk al Sharaa] announced that his country’s presence in Lebanon is stronger than it had ever been and that the ‘friends of Damascus’ in Beirut are stronger than before – can there be a more blatant confession that Syria is behind the Lebanese crisis?

Moreover, a few days ago, the divinely victorious Hassan Nasrallah who is supposedly Lebanese defended Iran and the role that it plays in the region.

They all audaciously declare their victory without having to pay the price for it, which rends Lebanon in two. Therefore, the Arab League and its member states must have an effective and influential role. Like the time when the Arab League’s member states toured the world to put an end to the Israeli aggression against Lebanon after Hassan Nasrallah dragged the entire country into a war without prior warning (and the Gulf States, Europe and America pledged to reconstruct the damage and after the death of 1,100 Lebanese citizens) – there must be powerful intervention to protect any of the Arab League’s member states.

We thought that the Arab League’s position following the liberation of Kuwait would form a base capable of countering Arab to Arab aggression; however what we are witnessing in Lebanon today is the exact opposite.

What Lebanon needs today is not an Arab military intervention against Syria or Iran; rather, it needs to employ all the legitimate means to end all Syrian-Iranian intervention.

There must be an announcement to declare moving the Arab Summit from Damascus. This needs to be followed by a strict political position against Syria that should be escalated even on an economic level – should it refuse to desist in interfering in the affairs of independent Arab states. Additionally, its [Syria’s] close ties with Ahmadinejad must be reviewed so that there may be a price paid for it.

The Arabs must take a clear stance; we must not wait for American or European intervention so that Nasrallah and his aides would emerge to attack the West, accusing everyone of treason and forgetting themselves.

Lebanon’s plight lies in those who govern it from abroad and those who seek to impose a Syrian-Iranian guardianship on it, which would be disastrous for Lebanon and for Arab national security.

But this is not only confined to Lebanon alone, this intervention extends between Palestinians, Iraqis and the Gulf States as well.

There must be effective Arab intervention.

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.

More Posts