Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Alawsat (Opinion)
January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Moderate Arab diplomacy has succeeded in creating a UN resolution [UN Security Council Resolution 1860] in New York calling for a ceasefire and an end to Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip.

Arab moderates succeeded [in pushing for a resolution] despite the regional and Arab obstacles of some seeing an opportunity to attack Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and other moderate Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Jordan.

The Iranians said that the Arabs would not succeed in pushing through a UN resolution, and that going to New York was nothing more than begging from the West. Hassan Nasrallah has been content with the failures of regular armies in the conflict with Israel, believing that success can only occur through national resistance, in other words starting from scratch after the abolition of our nations and states.

The Turks also believed that Arab moderates would fail; a well-informed official told me that only hours before the UN resolution was approved those close to the circles of power in Ankara were saying "Don't waste your time, the Arabs will come out empty-handed." The source also revealed that after the resolution was adopted, Turkey and others, reiterated that the resolution was not binding, that Hamas was not consulted, and that Israel would not accept it, and so what is the point?

This argument is basic; states are not consulted with regards to the adoption of UN resolutions, so how can movements be? The UN Security Council did not consult Israel for it to consult Hamas. It is also notable that UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-Moon] announced his [forthcoming] visit to the region this week in order to see the implementation of the resolution; it seems that this [ceasefire] will occur soon.

The real reason for Hamas's reservation [in accepting the ceasefire] is that it does not want to give any legitimacy to Mahmoud Abbas. The UN resolution is based on the 2005 agreement which stipulates that the Palestinian Authority be one of the parties involved in the supervision of the border crossings. Hamas' reservations come in spite of the tragedies and the Palestinian victims.

At this point, and all throughout history, we must not forget the Arab role, which has tried to prevent regional countries from compounding the tragedy in Gaza. These Arab countries were disparaged as those heading to New York as a result of not being able to reach an agreement at the Arab Summit, [by those who say that] the world will not respond to the Arabs so long as they do not coordinate their position in advance.

However the international community did respond, after we saw Prince Saud Al Faisal [Saudi Foreign Minster] say do not force us to turn our backs on you. We also saw Al Faisal threaten to call a press conference and announce that France was stalling the creation of a resolution if the meeting was postponed.

It was regarding this that UAE Foreign Minister Sheik Abdullah Bin Zayed told me "Whoever isn't grateful for what Saud Al Faisal did in New York is either a minor or ungrateful. The same goes for his management of the group of Arab countries, and his dealing with members of the Council, whether they are supporters or non-supports."

We must also recall the Egyptian [Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit] who put forward a [ceasefire] initiative even before the efforts of the Security Council. He voted for the UN resolution demonstrating the Saudi – Egyptian coordination, along with the UAE and Jordan, even though these countries are aware that they have been targeted as a result of their moderate stance, and clear Arab position.

We must say to Prince Saud Al Faisal, and to Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, there has been for some time an Arab initiative on the ministerial level calling for the naming of parties stalling joint-Arab action. This [initiative] must begin naming names, so that each party bears the responsibility [of its action or inaction], and so we can put an end to adventures and adventurers, and bidding and bidders.


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