Kuwait, Asharq Al-Awsat – Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin-Ahmad Al Khalifa has described the Sharm al-Sheikh summit “as the summit of consolidating the ceasefire in Gaza and restoring normal life to the Gaza Strip.” Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of his participation in the economic summit in Kuwait and the meeting for discussing the situations in Gaza, he said “the ceasefire is the most important thing we can give our brothers in Gaza.”
The Bahraini official added that the Sharm al-Sheikh summit was very important for changing the difficult atmosphere which prevailed in the entire Arab world and homeland as a result of the war on Gaza. On his assessment of the Arab situation and the divisions in it, he underlined the importance of the Arab rank’s unity and said there is no talk about divisions and we are now starting our summit with much optimism and the talk about disagreements is not helpful. He pointed out that all the efforts exerted at all the summits held were in the Palestinian people’s interest. Asked if he was expecting an end to the division at the Kuwait summit, he said the Arab nation went through many stages, dangerous crises and turning points, and sharp divisions but was able to restore its cohesiveness. We have the ability to overcome the stage.
Asked for his assessment of the Doha meeting on the situations in Gaza, the Bahraini foreign minister praised the meeting’s decisions and stands that help support the Palestinian people and considered it an important summit stressing the integration of the roles in all the summits held in Riyadh, Doha, and Sharm al-Sheikh in addition to the Kuwait summit, which he described as the most important one because it would focus on the economic aspects dealing with the liberation and development of the Arab man and development of his thinking and capabilities. He said it is not just an economic summit but also one taking up the interest in the Arab citizen’s daily life.
As to whether the Kuwait summit would witness inter-Arab reconciliation, the Bahraini foreign minister said he was expecting this to happen very much and the media campaigns between some countries to stop.
On the other hand, Arab diplomatic sources in Kuwait considered Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement of the “importance of Arab and Palestinian reconciliation for achieving peace the start of a breakthrough in Arab relations and expectations of reconciliation. They stressed that the invitations to several summits and the varied participation in them do not pose an obstacle to restoration of the Arab rank’s unity, particularly as all the summits played their role in the interest of the Palestinian people.
In a contact with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu-Bakr al-Qirbi about Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih’s call for an Islamic summit and what it could add to previous summits, Al-Qirbi stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the call was an expression from all the Islamic countries for solidarity with the Palestinian people at the summit level. He asserted that the repercussions of the Gaza events continued to cast their shadows over the region and that Israel’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire was not the end and an Islamic summit must adopt all the results of previous summits and implement them so that the Palestinian people can get all their rights.