Con­tin­u­ance gath­er­ing is a sym­bol of well­be­ing


Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ahmed Al-Jar­al­lah

THE pe­ri­odic sum­mit of the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) will take place on Sun­day amid the un­com­fort­able at­mos­phere – whether the me­dia cam­paigns launched by var­i­ous bod­ies or evil ef­forts ex­erted by cer­tain par­ties to crip­ple the se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of GCC coun­tries.

Their evil ob­jec­tive is to achieve what was pre­vi­ously known as ‘Arab Spring’ with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of those who are sup­posed to be mem­bers of the Gulf house.

Cer­tain in­ci­dents tran­spired in the last two months in re­la­tion to the is­sue of the late Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi. Prior to that, a tar­nish­ing cam­paign was launched against some GCC lead­ers and such an in­tense cam­paign has not been wit­nessed in the last four decades.

All talks, whether pub­licly or be­hind closed doors, about the broth­er­hood, com­mon destiny and striv­ing to­wards unity and open bor­der poli­cies which fa­cil­i­tate move­ment of peo­ple and goods be­tween the GCC mem­ber coun­tries ended in what re­sem­bles the era of in­va­sions and im­po­si­tion.

It is as if the sac­ri­fices made since 1981 when the GCC was formed till date are just vague rhetoric. What lies in the heart dif­fers from what is be­ing said by the tongue.

In ad­di­tion, the re­gion is not used to, per­haps since hun­dreds of years ago, trans­gres­sive ri­valry and ob­scen­ity which, ac­cord­ing to me­dia out­lets, have reached the level of in­sti­gat­ing an­i­mos­ity be­tween GCC na­tions.

A lot has been said in the past two months about the late Ja­mal Khashoggi. Enough has been said to close the chap­ter, at least in the Gulf re­gion, es­pe­cially after the Saudi lead­er­ship rep­re­sented by the Cus­to­dian of the Two Holy Mosque King Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz and his Crown Prince Muham­mad bin Sal­man con­demned the in­ci­dent, in ad­di­tion to the ar­rest of those in­volved in the is­sue. This re­flects the ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­ity of the King­dom in deal­ing with the is­sue.

Ev­ery­one knows, es­pe­cially in the Mid­dle East, that govern­ments mon­i­tor their ci­ti­zens out­side their land and abduct peo­ple. Maybe, the fate of hun­dreds and thou­sands of them re­mains a mys­tery.

More­over, this kind of in­ci­dent could have hap­pened in any ad­vanced coun­try. In fact, some chil­dren as­saulted their fa­thers hor­ri­bly and it seems the world was not con­cerned like it hap­pened in the case of Khashoggi.

Ap­par­ently, some took Khashoggi’s case as an op­por­tu­nity to ex­press ha­tred to­wards the King­dom and Gulf na­tion­als in a bid to fur­ther di­vide the peo­ple who are wait­ing for the bond

and co­he­sion to be stronger as the true ex­pres­sion of na­tional re­la­tions.

This in­ten­tional an­i­mos­ity against the Gulf na­tions and at­tempts to di­vide them made the meet­ing of all in­volved par­ties round a sin­gle ta­ble ap­pear like a safety fuse. The en­tire re­gion will ex­plode once this fuse fails.

Nonethe­less, all stakes are in the wis­dom of GCC lead­ers, as well as re­turn­ing to the straight path and aban­don­ing los­ing stakes by tak­ing de­ci­sions which se­cure the safety fuse de­spite all the tar­nish­ing and ag­gra­vat­ing cam­paigns against coun­tries in the re­gion.

The per­sis­tence to hold the sum­mit as usual is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment. It be­comes more vi­tal when it is held in the King­dom – the spine of the Gulf; hence, the need to re­view cer­tain cal­cu­la­tions.

It is time to aban­don the path walked on through­out the past 17 months – the age of the Gulf cri­sis. It is time to close the dark chap­ter by ad­her­ing to prin­ci­ples that the GCC stands for. The GCC unity rep­re­sents the dream of the peo­ple, be­fore its lead­ers.

There­fore, hopes are pinned on this sum­mit to have a pos­i­tive out­come for ev­ery­one to re­turn to the same house and then close all the win­dows to ad­ven­tur­ous or los­ing stakes.

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