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Behind the Scenes at the Arab Economic Summit | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Kuwait, Asharq Al-Awsat – A high ranking Arab source revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat details of the mini-Arab-summit held on Monday in Kuwait following an invitation by King Abdullah to the leaders of 6 Arab countries.

The source speaking on the condition of anonymity and who is affiliated to one of the countries involved in the summit, revealed that immediately after the opening ceremony- in which King Abdullah called for Arab reconciliation- the King invited the leaders of Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, and Qatar, in addition to the Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, to meet with him at Bayan Palace in Kuwait.

The source denied that there had been any signs of Arab reconciliation prior to the Arab summit, and he also denied that there was any previous communication between the Arab parties in preparation for this reconciliation. He said “King Abdullah’s initiative was a genuine surprise, but a happy one for all those participating in the summit, there were no prior arrangements, and there was no communication in this regard. King Abdullah announced his initiative, and followed this up by inviting the 6 leaders to visit him and end any previous boycott”

As for what took place during this mini-Arab-summit, the source said “King Abdullah told those who were present that as far as he was concerned the past is over, and he called for [the countries] to be frank with regards to any obstacles to reconciliation.” The source added that King Abdullah expressed his belief in a fresh start with regards to inter-Arab relations, and that such relations be built upon affection and openness between Arab countries.

The source also confirmed that the King’s initiative “as surprising as it was to all, found admiration and praise from the official Arab delegations…and I can confirm that everybody was happy with the Saudi monarch’s initiative, which has proved once again that he rises above all differences, and which proves that he [the King] is the Arab leader who tramples over all difficulties for the sake of Arab unity.”

As for the reconciliation, the source said that since its occurrence came as a surprise “the coming days will certainly lay the foundation to build such reconciliation, in order to prevent any party from causing a return of the tensions between Arab countries.”

The source also revealed that the summit’s atmosphere had previously been tense, but was then transformed into “an atmosphere of optimism and confidence as to the future of joint-Arab action, all of which occurred after the Saudi initiative, which rises above all the [disputes] that occurred before. Even though we all know that Saudi Arabia is the country most affected by these disputes, the Saudi monarch is the cornerstone [of this Arab reconciliation], and is able to shoulder this responsibility as a major Arab leader.”