DOHA/KUWAIT: The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday called on the Arab countries to find new models to overcome the “dilemmas of development” particularly poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and public health issues.
Addressing the opening session of the Arab summit in Kuwait, the Emir cautioned against stigmatising communities and political rivals with terrorism saying it would further proliferate terrorism.
He also stressed the need to develop and upgrade the Gulf Cooperation Council to live up to the aspirations of the peoples in the region.
“The crisis of development in all its dimensions has posed a threat to the national and regional security in our region and will lead in the event of its exacerbation to an unfavourable outcome,” said the Emir.
“It contributes to the spread of the feelings of despair and radicalism threatening political and social stability, and which entails action to find new paradigms to overcome the dilemmas of development in all its dimensions, first and foremost the issues of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and public health, by creating an integrated regional Arab order, which combines the interests of all our countries in order to achieve progress and prosperity for the Arab peoples,” he added.
“I would like also to mention in this context, our experience in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the need to develop and upgrade it to live up to the aspirations of our peoples, and to enable the Cooperation Council contribute to strengthening of the potentials of the entire Arab nation, and to become a pillar of its renaissance,” said the Emir.
He condemned terrorism which targets civilians by killing, intimidation and attacking civilian facilities for political purposes.
“Brothers we should neither stigmatise full communities with terrorism, nor attach it to those who differ politically with us, because that would proliferate terrorism rather than isolating it. It is also unbecoming of anyone who fails to maintain national unity to accuse other Arab countries of supporting terrorism in his own country,” said the Emir.
Referring to the Arab Spring revolutions, the Emir said, the broad transformations experienced by the region during the last three years “ have revived Arab peoples’ hopes for a better future they deserve and also have renewed confidence in itself and its youth.”
The Emir hoped that Egypt would be able to achieve stability through a national dialogue. “If some parties failed to achieve stability because the political horizon is blocked, yet we are confident that they would surmount the difficult circumstances they are reeling under as is the case with other brethren who introduced dialogue among various social and political forces,” said the Emir.
“We put emphasis on the fraternity bonds which link us to the bigger sister, Egypt, which we wish it security and political stability and all the good for the path to be chosen by its people who set memorable examples in expressing their ambitions, and we hope this would be realised through a comprehensive political societal dialogue,” he added.
On the Palestinian issue, the Emir said, “Israel has to know that the only viable solution to end the Arab–Israeli conflict and to achieve a comprehensive and just peace is based on the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, and establishing the independent Palestinian State with the holy Al Quds as its capital.”
He said the stifling siege clamped on Gaza Strip and the ensuing suffering it created were neither acceptable, nor politically and morally justified at any day.
“In Qatar we have exerted persistent efforts to alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers in Gaza, and made diligent efforts to reconstruct the Strip and supply fuel to facilitate day-to-day living conditions there.
In this context it is incumbent on us, we all the Arabs, to act to end this unjust, unjustified and incomprehensible blockade immediately ,and to open border crossing points for the inhabitants of Gaza to enable them practice their daily life on an equal footing with other peoples,” said the Emir.
“I refer in this respect to the resolution of Doha Summit according to a proposal by the State of Qatar to set up a fund for aiding Al Quds with a billion-dollar fund. His Highness the Father Emir declared then a quarter of billion dollars contribution to the fund , but the resolution was not put in place, which prompt me to declare Qatar’s commitment to the amount it had pledged to establish the Qatari fund for aiding Al Quds,” said the Emir.
He called on all the Palestinian leaders to put an end to Palestinian division and give priority to the supreme national interests by forming an interim national coalition government.
“We also reiterate our call for implementing the resolution of Doha Summit to convene a lesser Pan-Arab Summit in which the Arab countries willing to contribute to the Palestinian national reconciliation could participate, and we are ready to host this summit,” said the Emir. On the crisis in Syria, the Emir said, the Syrian regime reluctantly came to the Geneva 2 Conference “just to buy time”.
It has continued to kill Syrian citizens and demolish their cities and villages, yet the negotiation ended in failure. The regime’s claims that it accepts the political solution are nothing but an overt deception, which only those who ostensibly don’t want to do anything regarding the gravity of the crime, take for granted.
“The chemical weapons and gun barrels could never terminate the peoples’ aspirations for freedom. They may prolong suffering and increase the price to be incurred by Syria as a whole.
“The Syrian children’s sufferings became a stigma for the international community and we have to take action pursuant to the Arab League resolutions and international legality to put an end to this crisis and realize the aspirations of the Syrian people who paid heavy price for their freedom,” said the Emir.
The Emir congratulated the Tunisians for their constitutional achievement and for their search for compromises and renunciation of division.
He lauded the brothers in Yemen for their wisdom in choosing dialogue for building a modern State and the remarkable progress achieved by Sudan in establishing peace and security in Darfur.
He said It is high time for Iraq to get out of the vortex of violence and divisions, and this would not be achieved by the exclusion of entire authentic societal segments or accusing them of terror when they demand equality and participation.
The Emir concluded by inviting the Kuwaiti Emir H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah to take over from Qatar the presidency of the 25th Ordinary Session of the Arab League Council at the summit level, wishing him success in shouldering the responsibility.
On the sidelines, the Emir met Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, and Comorian President Ikililou Dhoinine on the sidelines of the summit.
Talks dealt with bilateral relations and the summit’s agenda.
The Emir held a separate meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, UN-League special envoy to Syria. Talks covered solutions to the crisis to end suffering of the Syrian people and reinstate and safeguard Syrian territorial integrity.
The Emir also met Ahmad Al Jarba, head of National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and reviewed latest developments on Syria and efforts to end the suffering of the Syrian people.
The Emir attended a luncheon banquet hosted by the Kuwaiti Emir in honour of Arab leaders and heads of delegations attending the summit.
The Emir, accompanied by several officials and the Qatari ambassador, paid a visit to Kuwait National Guard Chief and Dean of the Ruling Family Sheikh Salem Al Ali Al Sabah at his majlis and reviewed relations.
The Emir also participated in the closed session of Arab League Council at Al Bayan Palace. The leaders are to discuss particularly latest developments in the Arab region and ways of activating joint Arab action to confront challenges.
Later the Emir returned home. He sent a cable to Sheikh Sabah, expressing thanks and appreciation for warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.