Following the speeches of the Arab leaders in the 32nd Arab Summit held last Friday (May 19) in Jeddah, I noticed the warm welcome given to the Assad regime upon its return to the Arab League which revealed that the summit was held mainly to cover this return without any concessions or any mention of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The intention of this meeting appears to have been to transfer Assad’s crimes to oblivion and consider them a thing of the past, in addition to burying any UN-sponsored political solution.
The Arab normalization with the regime came after the recent China-sponsored Iranian-Saudi agreement. Yemen and Syria have now become a de facto Iranian sphere of influence, in addition to Iraq and Lebanon.
During the Summit, Arab speakers lamented the violence perpetrated against Palestinian demonstrations in front of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, yet none of them mentioned the violence of the Assad regime and the killing of one million Syrians and 12 million displaced people, which was a shameful irony!
“It seems that the Arab Summit gave Assad and his sectarian allies a comprehensive Arab amnesty for their crimes”Adwar Hachwa
There has not been one single word about the brutality of the Assad regime in Syria, no mention or demand for detainees to be set free and displaced persons to return to their homes, and no commitment to a political transition. It seems that the Arab Summit gave Assad and his sectarian allies a comprehensive Arab amnesty for their crimes. In a way, the Arab leaders opened a new chapter with Assad at the expense of Syrians without consulting them.
In a boring wooden speech, the Tunisian president, Kais Saied, who is sinking up to his ears in a quagmire of dictatorship, attacked the Syrian revolution and described it as a conspiracy, while welcoming Assad’s victory over it.
Assad began his speech with a brief lecture on the search for the causes of the disease and then claimed that he represents Arabism in its battle against the Muslim Brotherhood and Ottomanism, and did not mention anything about the future of detainees, a multitude of displaced persons, and the UN Security Council resolution.
The return of the Assad regime is a complete disregard for its crimes in Syria. It aims at washing the evil of the regime and agreeing to the sale of Syria to Iran.
“Arab leaders no longer have the upper hand in Syrian affairs and the outcomes of their meetings will amount to nothing more than red ink on yellow paper”Adwar Hachwa
What has taken place in the Arab Summit meeting is no less than a shameful act. The presence of a blood-thirsty dictator among Arab leaders should not be accepted.
It is now up to the democratically-elected governments of the world to interfere and challenge the notion of Assad being allowed back into world forums. Perpetrators need to be brought into courts of law, not into conferences and top-level meetings.
The Arab League, which more than a decade ago transferred the Syrian issue to the UN Security Council, is not qualified to recover this file because it has already become an international portfolio. Arab leaders no longer have the upper hand in Syrian affairs and the outcomes of their meetings will amount to nothing more than red ink on yellow paper.