Reconciliation is welcome

Reconciliation is welcome

A patch-up between GCC and Egypt is need of the hour.

By Dr Ahmed Mokhtar (cairo Insights)

Published: Mon 24 Nov 2014, 9:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:40 PM

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi greeth Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin Bin Abdulazis in Jeddah. Photo: AFP
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi greeth Saudi Arabia's Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin Bin Abdulazis in Jeddah. Photo: AFP

The Egyptian people and their political leadership received the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz’s Arab reconciliation initiative with a cautious welcome, and considered it the fruit of ongoing efforts by leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain to reunite the Arab world to face the dangers all around.

The Saudi king’s initiative clearly kicks off a new phase in Arab relations, as it contains an obvious message of the need to achieve an Arab union, and gives an example of the ability of Arab leaders to unite their efforts in defining moments. The Egyptian welcome is based on a deserved appreciation to the loyal brothers’ efforts, and the necessity to give them an opportunity to repair what was broken, especially that Egypt, throughout history, never preferred or tried to sow seeds of discord.

Also, there is a feeling among the Egyptian elites and intellectuals that the Saudi king would have never took his initiative before making sure that Qatar will fulfill its commitments in stopping the hostile propaganda against Egypt till the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit is held on its soil next month, as well as stopping the support of Muslim Brotherhood members and their schemes to destabilise Egypt since the 30th of June revolution last year. Tracking the events in the Arab World during the last few months shows the continuous efforts that were made to convince Qatar to change its stance, and made us realise some positive attitudes that the media failed to spotlight, when the Qatari United Nations envoy defended the human rights file of Egypt during the UN’s Human Rights Council meetings last month.

The gesture came after what Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE, said during a meeting with an Egyptian people’s delegation a few months ago that Qatar will change its policies towards Egypt within a period of six months to achieve reconciliation between the two countries.

The Egyptian people and their leadership remain cautious of the Riyadh Supplementary Agreement because Qatar has always been contradicting in what it announces and what it actually does on the ground. Accordingly, Egyptians prefer to wait for what the coming days will witness regarding actions that will deny or confirm the veracity of the Qatari leadership.

Since the beginning of the crisis, Egyptians have confirmed that conflicts in political positions cannot affect the strong relations between the people of the two countries. That is why Egyptians were surprised of the hostile Qatari leadership position towards their revolution, and considered it an intervention opposing their choices, especially that they hoped Qatar will walk on the same path its Arab brothers chose, which is supporting Egypt during its hardships.

The Riyadh Supplementary Agreement requires patience from all parties, and to prioritise the higher interest of Arab unity. But wrong are those who believe that the agreement will break the ice in relations between Egypt and Qatar within a few days. The situation requires important steps to be taken immediately by the political leaderships of Egypt and the Gulf States, politicians and media professionals.

The political leadership of Qatar has to be convinced that it is important to not provide shelter for the Muslim Brotherhood members. And if it is not possible to get them out of the state at the moment, it is crucial to guarantee that the Brotherhood’s members are prevented from conspiring against the Arab states. The Qatari officials need to believe that it is not justified to embrace those who are trying to rip the ties of the Arab brotherhood, and that it only serves the enemies of the region.

Therefore, there is a necessity to arrange a meeting between the leaders of the GCC’s states and Egypt for reconciliation, and to send a clear message to the world that the recent conflicts are over. As for the roles of politicians and media professionals, they should all stay away from everything that fuels disputes and conflicts, and work on changing the media discourse on incitement and insult, and replace that with tolerance.

It is important to note here that we should be very careful of those who wait for any opportunity to fuel hostility, and be sure that not everyone will support the reconciliation, because there will always be someone who has interests in the continuation of the wave of disagreement and dispute among the Arab states.

Dr Ahmed Mokhtar is the deputy editor in chief of Al Ahram Al Masaai.

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