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ME Peace Process Is Dead: Moussa
CAIRO, 16 July 2006 — Foreign ministers of 18 Arab countries passed a unanimous resolution yesterday calling on the UN Security Council to intervene to stop escalating Mideast fighting.
“The Middle East peace process has failed. The whole process should now be sent back to the Security Council for a complete overhaul,” said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. “We are going to the Security Council — this is a unanimous position — to discuss the whole situation from scratch,” he said.
“If the Security Council fails, nobody knows what might happen next,” he added, pronouncing the whole Mideast peace process “dead.”
Meanwhile, Israel yesterday killed at least 32 civilians, including 15 children, in airstrikes meant to punish Hezbollah.
Israel’s bombing of Lebanese roads, bridges, ports and airports, as well as Hezbollah targets, is its most destructive onslaught since its1982 invasion to expel Palestinian forces.
An Israeli missile incinerated a van in south Lebanon, killing 21 people, among them15 children, in the deadliest single attack of the four-day-old campaign launched by Israel after Hezbollah captured two of its soldiers and killed eight others.
Police said the van was carrying two families fleeing the village of Marwaheen after Israeli loudspeaker warnings to leave their homes.
Also yesterday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal severely criticized some of the Arab leaders for making hasty and emotional decisions without considering what the negative outcomes of such decisions may be.
Prince Saud made the remarks in Cairo yesterday at the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers, reported the Saudi Press Agency. The prince stressed that the very practice of hasty decision-making without proper understanding is the root cause of problems that Arabs are presently afflicted with, including loss of Arab land and the brutal Israeli occupation.
In his speech, Saud noted the way the international community was silent in the face of continuing Israeli excesses.
The prince said, “A large part of our efforts in the past has been spent in holding emergency meetings without making necessary preparations to face the challenges...decisions made during crises carry the stamp of hurry and emotion which mostly result in aggravating the crisis instead of providing a solution to it.”
The prince also pointed out that an objective analysis of the Arab situation over the past five decades shows that “impromptu and emotionally charged decisions without a deep understanding of the consequences” have led to “tragedy after tragedy including loss of land, occupation and civil wars.” Saud said, “Unless we agree that the time has come to get out of this ominous and vicious circle of making decisions that are taken under the shadow of crisis which only helps create fresh crises and aggravation, nothing will be achieved. The time has come to speak about matters openly even if they are painful.”
The prince also said that the Arab League was not a club to exchange empty clichés but a body to make military, political and economic treaties, adding that the league condemned the practice of a single party enforcing dictatorial decisions and not allowing other members to express their opinions.
“If the unilateral decision by a single country is unacceptable then what about an undisciplined and irresponsible single element inside a country taking decisions which not only involves that country alone but pushes the remaining countries as well into a blind adventure? It is totally unacceptable and this matter should be unambiguously clear to all,” he said.
He continued, “My government views that it is essential to open a new page in our joint action in a new style with a new spirit as we cannot continue by repeating the same mistake of burdening our patient people with the consequences of mistakes.”
He exhorted members to reach a wise decision instead of adding a new problem to the current crisis.
“We need to make rapid moves to put an end to the Israeli aggression in Lebanon and Palestine and make a call for the language of dialogue to prevail and an end to the violence,” he said.
The minister also stressed the need to offer support to the Lebanese government in its efforts to protect the interests of Lebanon and also to the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to bring the situation under control and to bring unity among its people.