The 138th meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers has convened at the Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo.
An interview with Jamal Wakim, political analyst from Beirut, to further discuss the comment’s made by the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at the opening ceremony of this summit.
Q: Let’s start off with Morsi’s comments. How did you perceive what he said at the opening ceremony at the summit?
Wakim: I believe he was trying to inaugurate a new era in Egypt’s role in the region under the leadership of the Muslim Brothers. However what I saw was a continuation of the old geo-strategic and geopolitical guidelines of Egypt whether under Mubarak or before mainly under Sadat and under Mubarak with regards to the Palestinian cause where he said that he will accept anything decided by the Palestinian leadership so he is accepting the Oslo agreement.
There is no turning away from peace with Israel of course, a just solution for the Palestinians. This is what Mubarak regime has been calling for, for three decades so this represents also a continuation, the call for support to Sudan. This is also something that is not new with regards to Yemen, blessing the takeover of Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi the new president over power.
So this also comes at a time to cope with the change in Egypt. The main point that would be of interest was with regards to Syria where he said that it is time to change and that he is sorry for the bloodshed and that the Syrian regime should listen to the call of the people and should step down as soon as possible when the time is still ripe for it and not to take the right decision at the wrong moment.
And he said that he is collaborating or Egypt is collaborating with Turkey, he did not mention Iran in this sense, in this regard nor did he mention Iraq which are both supportive of the Syrian regime. He did not say that he wants to address the Syrian leadership or send an emissary or have contact with the Syrian leadership.
So this means that he is waging a diplomatic war or he is supporting the efforts to oust the Syrian regime.
So all this is part of the directory that was followed previously by the regime of Hosni Mubarak and it is taking for granted under the rule of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt with Mohamed Morsi as president.
Q: Mr. Wakim, let’s focus more on the comments made on Syria. Mohamed Morsi said that we have to find a solution to the Syria crisis quickly and we must stop the suffering in Syria but my question is why was there no mention of the issue of certain foreign countries or parties or however you want to phrase them, of stopping from facilitating and arming the opposition in Syria?
Wakim:…has taken side with Saudi Arabia, with Turkey in their efforts to topple the Syrian regime as part of the new American directory in the region to form a triangle of Sunni Muslim states or capitals to block what they call Shia Iranian expansionism towards the East Mediterranean passing through Syria.
That is why Syria or the Syrian regime has been considered as a breach to this triangle and that either Bashar al-Assad had to severe its ties with Iran or he had to be toppled.
It is very important to mention that Morsi was in Tehran few days ago as part of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit and in his speech he did not mention Iran not as a regional power but now as the head of the Non-Aligned Movement.
So in this case this is a very important issue not to mention Iran for Morsi, this means that they are not participating or making Iran participate in the efforts to end the crisis in Syria and that toppling the Syrian regime is impartially directed against Iran, against its efforts to have access to the East Mediterranean as part of a bigger struggle between the United States, the Western Europe and Turkey on one hand, against Russia, China and Iran on the other hand over global hegemony.
Q: Well given the current stance that Morsi has on Syria based on the comments we have been just listening to, how effective do you think Egypt can be in trying to quell the unrest and finding a solution to Syria?
We already know that Egypt does have its own proposal of a contact group to end the Syrian crisis, how do you perceive those efforts?
Wakim: I perceive these efforts as mainly supportive to the insurgents especially that insurgency is heating up now and this cannot happen without Egyptian support especially that Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been trying ever since the beginning of this insurgency in Syria, Turkey too.
Now with Egypt putting a hand in assisting these insurgents and trying to help the insurgency, I think that things will heat up in Syria but not to the level of toppling the regime especially that the Syrian regime is having strong support for very vital interests as part of the Russian, Iranian and Chinese national security.
That is why I believe that the crisis in Syria will go for too long and the repercussions to Egypt and the role of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt will be high.
I believe that it is the Egyptians that will endure heavy losses and not the Syrians.
Source: Islam Times