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Asharq Al-Awsat talks to Arab Parliament Speaker Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Arab Parliament Speaker Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas announced the Arab Parliament’s intention, over the coming period, to liase with what he described as the “free” representatives [to the Arab Parliament] of countries like Tunisia, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Al-Dekbas stressed that these Arab Parliament representatives will not be representatives of the former regimes [of such countries], but rather representatives of the people themselves.

In his statement to Asharq al-Awsat, Arab Parliament Speaker Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas directed criticized towards the manner in which the Arab League is seeking to resolve the crises being faced by some Arab countries. Al-Dekbas justified this criticism by referring to what he described as the “great distance” between the capabilities and ambitions of the Arab people, and the reality on the ground. He also described most Arab institutions as being “bloated”, saying that such organizations squander much of their budget without achieving any of their objectives or goals.

Arab Parliament Speaker Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas stressed that “the Arab Parliament seeks to be a legislative and supervisory arm for the operations of such institutions, in addition to achieving the aspirations of the Arab people and ensuring their right to have their say and opinion.”

He added “the Arab people must not pay attention to those who want to divide them or impose a single opinion upon them in the presence of multiple viewpoints, and they must respect all trends, religions and nationalities, so as not to exclude anyone”.

Al-Dekbas also stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat the need for the Arabs to accommodate one another, in order to achieve what Arab regimes have failed to do many times over the years.

The Arab Parliament Speaker acknowledged that the Arab Parliament will be affected by the current “winds of change” in the region. He also stressed that the Arab Parliament is not a traditional “public relations” institution, but rather it works to address the future and the present reality, taking into account the developments in the political arena.

Al-Dekbas added “the Arab Parliament will not just represent the viewpoints of [Arab] regimes, but it will also take into account the aspirations of the people to achieve their desired reforms”.

As an example of this, he cited a group of decisions [undertaken by the Arab Parliament] by way of protesting the suppression of the Syrian people by the al-Assad regime, including the decision to relocate the Arab Parliament Secretariat from the Syrian capital Damascus to Egypt, in support of the Syrian people’s demands.

In a later interview, conducted with Al Arabiya, Arab Parliament Speaker Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas, went further in his criticisms of the al-Assad regime, saying “the Syrian people are subjected to genocide and are the victims of brutal massacres committed by the regime.”

He also criticized the Arab League’s “passivity” in its response to the crisis in Syria, saying “the Arab League is reenacting its shameful stance on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait now with Syria, through giving al-Assad more time to kill his people.” He also called on the Syrian crisis to be “internationalized” in order to protect the Syrian protesters.