The 29th summit of the League of Arab States kicked off on Sunday in the city of Dhahran, east of Saudi Arabia, with on focus the demands of Algeria designed to reform the structures of the Arab League, which has been unable even to heal the Arab-Arab differences and to deter the devastating foreign military interventions in the Arab region.
The Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, called last Thursday in a speech before the ministerial meeting preparatory to the summit, for the speeding up of the process of reform of the Arab League, a call preceded by similar calls to this effect, notably by former Foreign Minister, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, during the Arab League session held in Algeria In 2005.
Among the most important demands were the rotation of the post of Secretary General of the League, which Egyptians have been grabbing since the transfer of the Arab League headquarters from Tunisia to Cairo, after the end of the Arab boycott of Egypt, as a result of the signing by Egypt of the Camp David peace agreement with the state of the Zionist entity under the former Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat.
Despite the fact that some Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, agreed to keep the situation as it is, some Arab other regimes are backing such reform-related demands, such as Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
However, the situation is different this time. The Gulf states are living in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that has almost eliminated the Gulf Cooperation Council. Arab countries have become vulnerable to attacks and harassment by outside forces.
This will prompt the leaders taking part the Dhahran Summit to think about mechanisms to activate the Arab rapprochement, at least in order to ensure the continuation of the remaining systems away from nagging threats and foreign conspiracies.
Algeria was not the only country to have advocated the reform of the Arab League. It had even been involved with other countries. Seven countries shared this demand, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Qatar and Jordan. However, the background behind these calls varied from state to state.
The Egyptian initiative is aiming to secure common Arab action to settle Arab disputes through peaceful means, to carry out inter-Arab economic projects, to establish a a unified Arab parliament, an Arab court of justice, an Arab security council or an Arab national security forum.
The objective of the Yemeni initiative for its part is meant to amend the Arab League’s voting system by adopting majority rather than unanimity, establishing an Arab parliament, a shura or consultative council, an Arab economy council, and the Arab Monetary Fund.
The Saudi initiative focused meanwhile on establishing an Arab charter that guarantees the protection of legitimate Arab interests and the achievement of the just demands of the Arab states notably by bolstering Arab defense capabilities.
Furthermore, the Libyan initiative (in the era of Gaddafi) called for replacing the Arab League with an Arab union that takes its decisions by a two-thirds majority and prevents any of its members from signing military agreements with foreign countries.