The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today called for greater cooperation to solve the issues facing the Arab world. In his speech to the Arab leaders at the Arab Summit in Riyadh, King Abdullah said it has been over sixty years since the Arab League was established to become “a nucleus for a genuine Arab unity, united Arab armies, integrated economies, united political objectives, and before all, the unity of hearts and minds,” however, the current state of the Arab world is an indication that the objectives set over six decades ago have not materialized. The “current reality, which stands to prove that we are far away from the unity compared to the day in which the Arab League,” King Abdullah said.
King Abdullah called for an end to the international sanctions imposed on the Palestinian people in light of the positive development following the Makkah Agreement. “it became a necessity to put an end to the unjust siege imposed on the Palestinian people as soon as possible so as to enable the peace process to proceed in an atmosphere free from compulsion and repression” and which will lead to the establishment of the independent Palestinian state.
King Abdullah called for an end to bloodshed and turmoil in Arab lands. “In the beloved Iraq, blood is spilled between brothers under an illegitimate foreign occupation and despicable sectarianism that threatens civil war. Lebanon, which was a good example for co-existence and prosperity, is now crippled and unable to move ahead. Its streets had turned into hotels and sedition is about to show its teeth.”
In Sudan, King Abdullah said, “Arab laxity let to foreign intervention in its affairs” while Somalia is moving from one civil war to another while the Arab world is “unable to extend help to our brothers.”
King Abdullah said he does not blame the Arab League for the state of the Arab world. He said blame “should fall on us. we the leaders of the Arab nations. Our permanent differences, our refusal to take the path of unity – all of that led the nations to lose their confidence in our credibility and to lose hope in our present and future.
King Abdullah said it is time to liberate our minds from fears and to exchange bonds of love and goodness.”. Although there are causes for despair, King Abdullah said he is hopeful. “Despite the causes of despair, I do feel hopeful; and in spite the causes of pessimism, I do feel optimistic; and regardless of the difficulty, I look forward for ease.”
“The first step on the path of salvation is the restoration of confidence in ourselves and in each other. Once confidence is restored, it will be accompanied by credibility. And if credibility is restored, then the winds of hope will blow. And when that happens, we will never allow any forces from outside the region to design the future of the region. Then no banner other than that of Arabism will hover over Arab land.”
King Abdullah called for unity. “I call upon you, starting with myself, to have a new beginning aimed at uniting our hearts and closing our ranks. I call upon all of you to embark on a continuous march until our nations’ goals of unity, dignity, and prosperity are achieved. Such goals are not difficult to attain by the will of God Almighty and the determination of faithful men.”[full text of address in English] [Arabic text in PDF format]