2022 Arab Summit: Will it be decisive in solving Palestinian issue?
All eyes will be on the concluding statement of the Summit and the potential golden opportunity that Arab nations can benefit from, amid the division that prevails in the Arab world due to several outstanding files.
On November 1 and 2, the Algerian capital, Algiers, is set to host the 2022 Arab Summit, which the Algerian government had named the Palestine Summit, intending to unite all Arabs around the Palestinian cause, as part of the North African country's historical mediation role.
Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on the concluding statement of the Summit and the potential golden opportunity that Arab nations can benefit from, amid the prevailing division in the Arab world due to several issues, such as the normalization with the Israeli occupation, the war on Yemen, the civil war in Libya, and ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Algerian Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane said the Arab Summit will be an occasion to voice support for the Palestinian cause, being the central Arab cause, especially since the Summit is set to take place following the Algeria Declaration of reconciliation.
Earlier in September, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said that "Algeria is ready to host a historic Arab summit that would bring Arabs together and unite the Arab nation."
In its preparations for the Arab Summit, Algeria received on October 11 and 12 the delegations of 14 Palestinian factions that signed a reconciliation agreement called the Algeria Declaration under the auspice of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
The declaration highlighted the importance of the Palestinian factions "taking practical steps to put an end to the divide and realizing national reconciliation in Palestine, as well as enshrining the principle of political partnership between all Palestinian forces via elections."
It also called for bolstering the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), describing it as the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people, and highlighted the importance of the Palestinian factions coming together and collaborating to make the PLO's work more effective.
The Algeria Declaration came after Tebboune stressed in late September that "Palestine is the core issue" for his country, pointing out that there is no "Algerian boy or elderly who does not support Palestine."
"Palestine is a national cause for Algeria, and we do not accept colonization" in it, Tebboune affirmed, adding that "we will continue supporting it even if it was colonized by the world's strongest power. Palestine is for the Palestinians, not for anyone else."
"We fought colonialism and sacrificed convoys of martyrs, and we cannot accept a country be colonized; we will fight colonialism wherever it may be," the Algerian President underscored.
Why is it called the Palestine Summit?
In this regard, Ezz El Din Dedan, an Algerian journalist, said that "Algeria has a historical relationship with the Palestinians."
Dedan pointed out that "the Palestinian cause has always been placed as a central issue in all the internal Algerian national agendas, in addition to the fact that Algeria has been among those who seek on every occasion and in every forum to place the Palestinian cause at the center of the agendas of international forums."
"This is in addition to the fact that in recent years we have noticed a somewhat regression in the presentation of the Palestinian cause as a central Arab issue on all agendas in the Arab region," he added.
By putting forward the agenda of the issue of Arab reunification, according to Dedan, "Algeria wanted to push the Palestinian issue back to the forefront of Arab priorities as it is a central and crucial issue for the holy sites, the Palestinians, and the Arab nation."
"The Arab summit in Algeria or the Algeria meeting is a new starting point for reviving joint Arab action at all levels, and also in dealing with the Palestinian cause and pushing it in joint Arab cooperation to preserve the rights of the Palestinians and the rights of the Islamic and Christian sanctities there as well," he added.
Will the Summit be decisive in deterring normalization?
According to the Algerian journalist, the belief that the Arab Summit will be decisive in deterring normalization "is exaggerated, given that the Arab division that exists now is not hidden from anyone," adding that "Algeria wants to restore the joint Arab action and also push the Palestinian cause to the fore of events and the fore of Arab priorities."
Dedan considered that although the Summit might not be decisive in deterring normalization with the Israeli occupation, it will at least be a prelude to a better and expanded joint Arab action.
He indicated that many issues will be raised at the Summit, as Algeria maintains the same distance in all regional files, including the war on Yemen and the crisis in Libya.
"Algeria will push in the direction of finding a final solution in Yemen," Dedan stressed, explaining that the Yemeni file has an international dimension and is too complex to be resolved in a single Arab meeting.
The Syrian file will also be discussed at the Arab Summit, Dedan said, adding that "Algeria has always defended the return of security to Syria," whose membership in the League of Arab States was suspended in 2011 after the beginning of the war on the country.
In the same context, Abderrahim Kachour, AL24's English news anchor, highlighted that the coming Arab Summit is similar to the 1946 summit that was held in Bloudan, Syria, on the essence and core of the Palestinian cause.
Kachour stressed that Algeria will always be talking about the Palestinian cause until it is solved, stressing that Algiers has been constantly fighting for the sake of the Arab nation and all those who are in a quest for freedom.
"Algeria is committed to fighting for Palestine because this is a war, not only for Palestine but for the freedom of the whole world," he added.
It is noteworthy that Algeria's permanent representative to the Arab League, Abdel Hamid Shabira, confirmed on Thursday that the concluding statement of the Algerian Summit will include the reintroduction of the Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Palestinian cause.
Since gaining its independence from France, Algeria has shown endless support for Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and fellow Arab states against all forms of oppression and occupation.
Despite some Arab states shamefully signing normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation in exchange for some benefits, Algeria has strongly opposed such deals, considering normalization with the occupation as a betrayal to the Arabs and the Palestinian cause.
Will the US pressure Arab states ahead of the summit?
Responding to a question about a possible intervention by the United States to pressure its Arab allies ahead of the Summit, Raid Nadji, Professor of Political Sciences at the University of Algiers, said it [US intervention] has declined to a large extent.
Nadji told Al Mayadeen English that "today, the US is not pressuring as much as it is soliciting and beseeching help, because the country is now going through tough circumstances, whether internally or externally. So America can’t threaten or denounce the summit."
The Palestinian professor indicated that it is not within Washington's priorities "to launch any war, because it is preoccupied with the economic crises threatening the country, such as its conflict with China."
"America is looking for a soft polarization, so to speak, rather than a threat and condemnation," he added.
Nadji highlighted that Arab countries now have a golden opportunity to benefit from, "as the US pressure and decision that has always confiscated the Arab decision today is somewhat dependent and suspended as a result of many economic and international considerations that we all know, including the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the growing influence of China, in addition to many interventions at the global level and in Latin America."
What to expect in the summit's concluding statement?
Regarding the Arab Summit expected concluding statement, Nadji told Al Mayadeen English that the first part is financial, "specifically in what concerns support for Palestine because some Arab donor countries stopped or at least decreased their support to Palestine. Therefore, I believe that this issue will be raised and reactivated."
He added that the second point that the concluding statement will focus on is support at the level of international bodies.
According to Nadji, "We have seen in the past that certain bodies before the UN and Security Council…some Arab countries no longer stood by the Palestinian cause and did not vote in favor of Palestine and voted instead in favor of the occupation."
He expected that "I believe that today a bloc, at least an Arab bloc, may be established, and any influential side, whether African or non-African countries, will act in favor of supporting the Palestinian cause," adding that the "issue of activating the Palestinian role and giving Palestine a full membership status in the United Nations is raised."
Nadji concluded that if Arab countries turn to such matters - to support the Palestinian cause and help Palestine officially obtain full membership at the UN - "the situation will change completely at the legal, political, and the Palestinian and Arab diplomatic level."