— The Erimtan Angle —

‘17 of the 22 Arab foreign ministers have held a meeting ahead of the Arab league summit to line up and agree on the issues which will be discussed during the summit which scheduled to be held in the capital Baghdad. Press TV’s Wisam al-Bayati reports from Baghdad (29 March 2012)’.

The McClatchy-Tribune News Service‘s Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa reports that ‘Arab leaders who gathered Thursday [, 29 March] in Baghdad broke no new ground on Syria or other regional crises, but their summit was still hailed as a success — for returning Iraq to the Arab fold after years of isolating war and occupation. Ten of the Arab League’s 22 member nations sent a head of state to the summit, most notably Kuwait, whose emir traded ceremonial kisses with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a rapprochement that comes two decades after Saddam Hussein invaded that tiny neighbor in a provocation that sparked the first Persian Gulf War. Other Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar sent pointedly lower-level delegations, but none of them boycotted the summit, which was organized by Iraq’s ruling Shiite Muslims and Kurds, whom many Sunni leaders have shunned since the U.S.-led invasion swept them into power’.[1]

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari full of reassurance proclaimed that “This is a country that was distanced, overlooked, boycotted and sanctioned. And now it is back”.[2]  Inb contrast to Zebari’s feelings of triumphalism, Allam and Issa critically remark that the “Arab League’s annual summit is notorious for its toothless proclamations, and the muted response to the Syrian crisis appeared to follow that tradition. With its own series of proposals to stanch the Syrian bloodshed stalled, the Arab League on Thursday essentially relinquished the matter to the U.N. Security Council”.[3]

From the other side of the world, Ahmad Shboul, Associate Professor of Arab and Islamic studies at Sydney University, speaks to Scott Bevan about the Arab League Summit (22 March 2012).

 


[1] Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa, “Iraq basks in glow of Arab League summit in Baghdad” McClatchy-Tribune News Service (29 March 2012). http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2012/03/iraq_basks_in_glow_of_arab_lea.html.

[2] Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa, “Iraq basks in glow of Arab League summit in Baghdad”.

[3] Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa, “Iraq basks in glow of Arab League summit in Baghdad”.

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