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What the Arab Ministers Didn’t Say | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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During the long hours that the Arab foreign ministers spent at the exceptional summit held in Cairo to discuss the crisis of Lebanon’s occupation by Hezbollah, there was an important question that the ministers did not ask themselves.

The question is: What is required of the Arab League if a given Arab state is subjected to what Lebanon is going through in the manner Beirut is currently occupied by Iran? What would Qatar want if a group took over and occupied Doha, for example? Or what would the Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, or Jordan do if groups wanted to crush the aforementioned regimes and what would Sanaa want in the case of al Houthi group toppling Yemen’s regime? That is the question!

Do the Arab states accept Syria’s proposal that maintains that the occupation of an Arab state at the hands of a party that follows and receives the orders of Tehran is a purely domestic affair and that the Arab League need not do anything about it?

Do the Arab states accept to be lectured by the official Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman to enlighten us at what should and should not be? How can we accept that, especially since none of the Arab foreign ministers can speak Farsi!

What is taking place in Lebanon is by no means just an internal matter and moreover; the issue is much bigger than Lebanon. The hijacking of an Arab state, its occupation and staging a coup on its [diverse ethnic and religious] make-up is the completion of the Iranian expansion plan in the region. It is a matter that transcends the ‘crescent’ that King Abdullah II of Jordan had warned against – that crescent has now become a full moon and we are faced with a new map of Iran.

What is happening in Lebanon is not an internal matter at all, since 2004 alone the UN Security Council has adopted 15 resolutions related to Lebanon, not to mention the international tribunal investigating into the assassination of Rafik Hariri and other supporters.

After all this, how can one say that what is happening in Lebanon is a domestic matter – or else Tehran would have replaced the United Nations and as such, the Arab states that want legitimacy must go to Tehran and those that want to prove their credibility effectively must comply with Tehran’s orders so as to not be deemed among the agents?

It is a bizarre understanding of matters, particularly since we see Tehran and Washington negotiating over Iraq, and Syria and Israeli negotiating quietly, enjoying a silence that even Mahmoud Abbas, whom Hamas deems a traitor, does not enjoy. In fact; not talking about the Syrian-Israeli negotiations has surpassed the quiet realms into absolute silence on the part of the Arab groups that seek to undermine Arab regimes, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah!

In answer to the question that the ministers failed to ask, which is what would you require of the Arab League if your country was subjected to what Lebanon is enduring, yesterday an Arab foreign minister told me, “The question was on every Arab minister’s mind – but silently. Everyone is aware of this question, but silently.”

Silence is one of the main problems in the Arab world; the danger is that the rational ones will remain silent and leave room for the groups that threaten our security and future. This is why what the Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers did to confront this blatant Syrian conspiracy and the hesitation of some at the aforesaid summit was critically important.