Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sharm El-Sheikh Arab Summit 2015 : The usual historical summit

On on Sunday Sharm El-Sheikh saw the conclusion of the annual Arab Summit. This time Egypt headed the summit and you can imagine how the local media dealt the matter as an evidence that Egypt’s President Abdel El-Sisi was leader of the Arab world. There had been very high expectations already in the Egyptian media describing as the most important historical summit attended by all the Arab heads of states…etc.
Day One Recap :
Despite we got too many important issues the Arab leaders should discuss in the meeting but everyone knows that the only thing to be talked about is Yemen and what happened and is happening in Yemen.
Nevertheless there were other issues on the agenda listed by the head of the summit Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The other two issues were : Founding a joint Arab military Force and the situation of Libya.
El-Sisi’s meeting with the Qatar’s Emir Prince Tamim was another important scene in the summit.
The Ruler of Qatar came to Egypt for the first time after recalling his ambassador from Cairo last February after rejecting the Egyptian air strikes in Libya. The two leaders met and acted warmly like nothing happened kissing each other in front of the camera and smiling. Prince Tamim addressed Abdel Fattah El-Sis as his excellency.
Tamim and Sisi 
It is worth to mention that Journalists like Yasser Razek who are close to Sisi’s administration claimed that the Egyptian president would not meet his Qatari guest earlier. That was not an official visit to Egypt by the way , the Qatari Prince was attending the summit.
TV hosts like Ahmed Moussa who used to call Tamim as gay said welcomed the arrival of the Prince. For awhile it seemed that Egypt and Qatar reconciled after all.
Of course the arrival of Prince Tamim was important to Egypt but it did not captured the attention of the world as the arrival of Yemen’s President Mansour Hadi. The runaway president showed up in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh. He came from Saudi Arabia.
There was a meeting held between Salman , Hadi and Sisi.

Sisi , Hadi and Salman "Egyptian presidency" 
Needless to say people were waiting to hear the words of King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Yemeni President Hadi and the Iraqi PM Fouad Masum. Iraq has already expressed its rejection to the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen.
The opening session of the summit started. The former head of the summit 1929-born Prince of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmed slammed the Arab Spring revolutions. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi expressed his support to the Saudi-led Operation in Yemen to protect the Arab identity, supported the military intervention in Libya, called for a joint Arab military force and called for a political solution in Syria. He also renewed his support to a Palestinian State whose capital is East Jerusalem and spoke about internet threat as tool to promote terrorism. “I just do not know what the problem of the military presidents of this country with the internet is !!”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed his sadness for not solving the Syrian conflict.   
After reminding Egypt’s president with the economic conference “and indirectly with the Saudi’s financial support to Egypt from what I see” , King Salman of Saudi Arabia focused in his speech on Yemen and how foreign parties instigated the Houthis mainly then he spoke about the Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem.
Yemeni President Hadi also addressed the summit about his country’s new misery supporting the Saudi-led operation against Houthis.
As soon as the Yemeni president finished his speech , the King of Saudi Arabia left the summit returning back to his country. It was a strange scene on TV. King Salman walking away from the hall speaking with the Yemeni President and then El-Sisi accompanying him.
In less than two hours it was announced that Salman and Mansour left to Riyadh. It is kind of strange because I knew that a presser was planned for President Mansour on Sunday after the closing ceremony. The Yemeni minister of foreign affairs was left to represent his country.
Despite Qatar is participating in the Saudi coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, Prince Tamim of Qatar said that Arabs should speak to Iran.
Iraqi PM Fouad Masum stated that his country would be Islamic State free within a year and his country and that Iraq called for a political solution in Yemen.
Mahmoud Abbas of Palestinian Authority said the usual speech about a Palestinian State whose capital is in East Jerusalem.
The UAE delegation did not include the usual big names as announced earlier in the Egyptian media.I am reading speculations about why the big names did show up. The Dubai Derby is not more important than the summit for real.
The King of Morocco did not come either despite that his country will host the next session of the Arab Summit in 2016.
Of course the Syria’s seat was empty.
Those were the important the speeches from my point of view and actually I believe that they introduced us to what happened next.
Now you must know that Iraq , Syria “El-Assad” and Algeria are calling political solution in Yemen. Oman did not participate in the operation. Saudi Arabia and the GCC are against political solutions in Syria. Most of the Arab countries care less about the military intervention in Libya. 
Interestingly later that leaks from the closed sessions afterwards stated that Saudi Arabia opposed the idea of establishing Arab Joint forces.
Prince of Qatar leaves and we do not know if the Qatari ambassador to Egypt returned back to Cairo or to Doha. 
Day 2 Recap :
The Closing session started. El-Sisi reads the declaration of the summit announcing that the Arab countries agreed on principle to establish Arab joint forces and that League of Arab States secretary general was assigned to follow up on that matter. According within a month the Arab countries has got the choice to join the forces and their chiefs of staff should meet for further discussion. Those Joint forces should be specialized in quick intervention against any kind of instability generally speaking.
Iraqi PM asked for a word and said that he had a comment. “The capital of Palestine is Jerusalem and not East Jerusalem” He said. It is worth to mention that Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was criticized before by Arab Nationalists , Nasserites and Islamists for saying “East Jerusalem” instead Jerusalem like in the past.
A message from Vladimir Putin to the summit was read in the closing session calling for political solutions in Syria and Yemen.
The Saudi veteran FM Saud El-Faisal asked to comment on the message and OMG , this is the most interesting and best thing in the whole summit. In fragile voice El-Faisal slammed Putin and Russia directly. “How can Russia proposes a solution to what is happening in Syria when t is part of the Problem” He said.

Saud El-Faisal slams Putin

Of course Putin is the best friend of Sisi who believes that political solution is best thing for Syria.
And Morocco will head the summit next year. That’s it folks.
By the way the Arab Summits lost Qaddafi for real. With Qaddafi it has become very boring. We used to wait for Qaddafi’s crazy speeches or rather rants. They were so much fun.
In the end this is another usual historical summit. 

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