Saudi Arabia to invite Syria’s Al-Assad to Arab League Summit in May

2 Apr 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al-Mayadeen English 

The spokesperson for the Arab League secretary general, Gamal Roshdy, states that the Arab League is not informed beforehand of every decision or move between Arab countries on the bilateral level.  

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addresses parliament in Damascus, Syria on August 12, 2020 (Reuters)

According to sources, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be invited by Saudi Arabia to the Arab League summit that is due to be hosted in Riyadh on May 19, which would put an end to Syria’s regional isolation that it has been suffering from since 2011. 

Hossam Zaki, the League of Arab States (LAS) Assistant Secretary-General, confirmed last week that “the 32nd Arab summit is expected to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 19,” adding that heads of government are also expected to attend the Arab Development Summit in Mauritania and the Arab-African Summit in Saudi Arabia this year as well. 

This follows as Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan is scheduled to travel to the capital Damascus in the next few weeks to submit the invitation to al-Assad to the summit. Initial plans for a visit by either Prince Faisal to Syria or by Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to Saudi Arabia were postponed as a result of the February 6 earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria.

Several Arab countries rushed to Syria’s aid after the February 6 earthquake that killed tens of thousands in the war-torn country and neighboring Turkey. At the time, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called his Syrian counterpart in unprecedented support since El-Sisi took office in 2014.

The spokesperson for the Arab League secretary general, Gamal Roshdy, stated that the Arab League is not informed beforehand of every decision or move between Arab countries on the bilateral level.  

“We are not supposed to be informed in advance about the assumed visit,” he said.

Read next: Arab League chief demands end of politicization of aid to Syria

After Syria was suspended from the organization in 2011, both Western and Arab nations boycotted him as a result of the protests that turned violence into war. However, this return to the organization would not only alter the regional approach towards Syria and the conflict but also Syria’s involvement in regional politics. 

Another potential landmark agreement

The beginning of that return started when Saudi Arabia and Syria agreed to reopen their embassies after the end of the month of Ramadan, according to sources familiar with the matter, but the Saudi foreign ministry did not confirm the agreement but confirmed talks were ongoing with the Syrian counterpart to resume consular services.

It does come with conditions – the talks include demands from Saudi Arabia not limited to close cooperation on border security and drug trafficking.

Egypt recently resumed contact with Syria after both parties agreed to fortify cooperation, marking the first official visit by a Syrian foreign minister to Egypt in more than a decade. Egypt served as a mediator alongside Saudi Arabia to facilitate Syria’s return to the League. 

Read more: Syrian Foreign Minister arrives in Cairo

On the other hand, nations like the US and Qatar have been demonstrating opposition to resuming ties with Syria, using al-Assad’s government situation as an excuse and asking to see progress for a political solution in the country.

If Saudi Arabia and Syria establish a concrete agreement and resumption of ties, it will be the second victory against the desires of the West following the landmark agreement earlier last month between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The previous summit, the 31st, was held in Algeria in November 2022 and was attended by 16 Arab presidents. 

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Cuba’s ties to Arab World: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (III)

21 Mar 22:27 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Cuban President Miguel-Diaz Canel touches in an interview for Al Mayadeen on the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance, the confrontation of Western imperialism, and his visit to Algeria.

Cuba’s ties to Arab World: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (III)

During the third part of Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou’s interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the president discussed Algeria, the Palestinian cause, El Comandante, and former President Raul Castro in the context of Cuba, global liberation, and international revolution.

Diaz-Canel said that in this past year, Cuba endeavored on a journey across Western Asia and North Africa to restore direct relations with a group of Arab countries which, due to the years of the pandemic, were not strengthened given that the ties were mostly virtual.

The visit, the President explained, began in Algeria; a country which Cuba shares a deep-rooted connection with, given the relationship shared between leaders of the Algerian revolution and those of the Cuban revolution. Diaz-Canel highlighted that while he belongs to a generation “that grew up hearing about the Algerian revolution” and about “Fidel’s visits to Algeria,” it remained that the current Cuban leadership, unfortunately, until [my visit in November] we did not have the opportunity to visit Algeria.

Algeria’s President and Government, during the visit, proposed a wide variety of cooperation projects which Diaz-Canel noted were enthusiastically welcomed. The visit, the president explained offered the Cuban leadership the opportunity to learn Algeria’s history and culture and to gain a genuine understanding of the depth of the fraternal tie that connects the Cuban people to the Algerian people.

Algeria’s President and Government, during the visit, proposed a wide variety of cooperation projects which Diaz-Canel noted were enthusiastically welcomed. The visit, the president explained offered the Cuban leadership the opportunity to learn about Algeria’s history and culture and to gain a genuine understanding of the depth of the fraternal tie that connects the Cuban people to the Algerian people.

Diaz-Canel recounted what unites the two nations. He reminded that the Algerian-Cuban cooperation was born when Cuban doctors flew to Algeria, during the early years of the revolution, as part of the first Cuban UN health mission abroad.

The Palestinian cause in the heart of Cuba

When asked about Palestine, Diaz-Canel reaffirmed Cuba’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The Cuban President reiterated that Cuba “defends the right to establish a Palestinian state with the pre-1967 borders with East Al-Quds as its capital and guaranteeing Palestinian refugees, anywhere in the world, the right of return.”

Moreover, Diaz-Canel argued that Cuba has always defended the Palestinian cause in the face of injustice, violence, and forced displacement.

The topic prompted the President to tell a story from when he served as Minister of Higher Education and attended an international conference on higher education which was hosted by UNESCO. Diaz-Canel, at the time, advocated Palestine’s eligibility for membership in and recognition by UNESCO in an address he gave on behalf of the Cuban government. I wasn’t one of the first speakers at the time, but Cuba was the one who raised the issue of Palestine and demanded that it be recognized by UNESCO. Following this speech, and the speeches of others who supported the integration of Palestine as a member of UNESCO, a resolution was passed in favor of that demand. 

At the time, the US decided to withdraw its support of the organization and even went on to launch an attack campaign against UNESCO simply for allowing Palestine to become a legitimate member of the international organization.

The Cuban President also highlighted that he had recently received Palestinian leaders and discussed the deep-rooted relationship that ties the two people together.

Diaz-Canel highlighted that this has been Cuba’s approach toward all resistance movements across the globe. Especially, Diaz-Canel noted, movements such as Hezbollah in Lebanon whose leaders have defended Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty, and right to self-determination.

When asked about Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the Cuban President confidently said “he is a leader who knew how to lead a movement that defends the causes of the Lebanese people.”

Fidel restored Cuba’s dignity

Fidel, leader of the Cuban Revolution, gave Cuba, Latin America, and the Caribbean region a legacy, said Diaz-Canel who expressed deep feelings of appreciation and nostalgia for the era of El Commandante. Diaz-Canel said, “I miss him, and I will always miss him, the Cuban people will always miss him too.” 

Fidel led the Cuban Revolution for the dignity of the Cuban people and for the dignity of Cuba, he was a true revolutionary who “defended the rights of people, and fought for social justice without giving in to destabilizing attempts and aggressive imperialist policy against Cuba amid the conditions of the unjust embargo.”

The Cuban President added, “I believe that every historical moment of the revolution has been a milestone of Fidel’s legacy in history.”

Diaz-Canel explained that he is committed to Fidel’s convictions and defends them with all honesty, both as a President and as an intellectual. The President said, “I study Fidel constantly, and in difficult and complicated moments my first question is always: what would Fidel have done in a moment like this?” Diaz-Canel revealed that he turned to Fidel’s writings, speeches, and reflections whenever he needed to find parallels between the challenges of the past and the challenges of today to see how Fidel solved previous challenges.

“We have a great commitment to his legacy, a great commitment to the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, and a great commitment to our people,” said Diaz-Canel.

The President said he is committed to walking in Fidel’s footsteps reaffirming that “Fidel is still present among us even though we always miss him.”

Raul Castro: the perfect second man

When asked by Raul Kobe Castro, Cuban President Diaz-Canel said “Raúl Kobe is authentic, deeply revolutionary and I have great admiration and appreciation for him.” Diaz-Canel explained that he perceived Raul as “the beloved army general Raúl Castro” whom he considered both a mentor and a father.

The Cuban President described Raul as someone who has “the ability to listen, and also gives his opinion in a timely manner, firmly, sincerely and faithfully about what he sees as wrong or not well applied.”

When asked about the role of Raul during the Cuban revolution, Diaz-Canel said “he’s always been the perfect second man.” Raul, according to the Cuban President, complied with Fidel’s directives and set an example to others as he “never looked forward to becoming the first man.”

Raul, he said, ran “the most efficient ministry” in the Cuban revolution, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, “which is not the armed forces of any country, it is the armed forces of the Cuban people” born out of the Cuban revolution. These forces play a significant role not only in protecting the country but also in social and economic dynamics.

After Fidel’s passing away, Raul took over the leadership of Cuba “with tremendous cohesion, honesty, and fulfillment of the revolution and Fidel,” said Diaz-Canel.

Raul is a bold person, said the Cuban President, adding that he paved the way for necessary transformations based on his understanding of the challenges that face the country. 

In particular, Diaz-Canel said Raul is a great host, saying he has witnessed how Raul won the heart of any friendly foreign visitor arriving in Cuba, perhaps because people expect protocol-type dialogues with him. Instead, they find Raul welcoming and able to talk about the most complex issues on the international scene.

Commitment to the people of utmost importance

According to the Cuban President, the government is currently conducting dialogue with the people, and parliamentary candidates are meeting with the electorate ahead of the elections set for March 26. 
“For one to elect a president, one must first be elected by the people as a representative; it is highly up to what the people want – and whether or not they see in each and every one of us the characteristics they want in a representative […] it is all about the people’s assessment first and that of the National Assembly second,” Diaz-Canel underlined.

He explained that he devoted himself to the revolutionary process with paramount commitment, stressing that he felt the weight of the responsibility of the presidency on his shoulders, as “I will never allow myself to betray the Cuban Revolution or not be able to achieve the continuity of the Cuban revolution’s legacy… That idea haunts me every day and forces me to improve my performance. In fact, it challenges me to look deeper and perceive things critically, making me unsatisfied with the milestones we are reaching.

One cannot commit to the revolution if they do not have a prior commitment to the people, one cannot talk about continuity if one was not committed to the people, and one cannot talk about preserving Fidel and Raul’s legacy if one was not committed the people, the Cuban leader underlined.

“We have been through harsh times, and we had to face numerous ordeals, and many citizens still remind of that during the meetings we hold with them, for they say: ‘You did not catch a break’,” he said.

Touching on the “harsh times” in question, Diaz-Canel highlighted how Cuba was hit with various disasters over the years. “At first, there was the plane crash, then came the hurricane in Havana, the floods, the Hotel Saratoga explosion, the burning of the huge oil tanks, Trump’s 243 measures, the placement of Cuba on the States Sponsors of Terror list, and now hurricane Ian and a whole bundle of woes.”

The Cuban president underlined that the country went through difficult times and that it was vigorously looking for ways to get inflation under control and manage the lack of supply for the Cuban people. “We are as seeking to achieve energy stability in the national power grid and succeeding in implementing a wide array of measures that had been included in the socio-economic development strategy we had designed to enable the country to achieve the prosperity that the Cuban people deserve in the shortest time possible and despite all the conditions of the suffocating blockade.”

“I have many cases of dissatisfaction, and I criticized myself during the latest session of the National Assembly of People’s Power in December 2022. It was public self-criticism because I could not solve the problems that the country is facing, including complicated issues that are affecting the daily lives of citizens,” the Cuban leader said, highlighting that while he did not see himself as the reason behind these problems – as the situation has to do with far more than the government’s mistakes and shortcomings, for there is the embargo – he still feels dissatisfied with the fact that Havana cannot promote a set of measures to be more efficient and more effective when it comes to solving such problems.

Cuba’s resilience to help overcome the embargo

The Cuban leader said that while he is convinced that the blockade will not become any easier, he believes that “we have every ability not only to resist it but also to overcome it, for due to our talent, effort, intelligence, and action, we will advance the country’s development.”

Cuba’s first priority, Diaz-Canel told Bin Jeddou, will be defending the homeland and the revolution through the military, ideological, and economic resilience that the country strives to achieve. “By achieving this military, economic, and ideological resilience, we can continue to deepen the effectiveness of the revolution’s social achievements. The goal of the revolution was, above all, to achieve social achievements and to defend social justice.”

The priority is to confront with wisdom, talent, and intelligence the massive political and ideological sabotage campaign launched by the United States administration against Cuban society, directed mainly at the youth in order to create a rift and chasm between the youth and the revolution, the Cuban president underlined. “At the ideological level, we encourage – in fact, we do – the consolidation of the concept of people’s power, which guarantees the critical popular participation and the submission of proposals that can be submitted through the apparatuses of the popular authority that represents the people,” he added, noting that this was a key aspect in confronting foreign attempts at undermining the Cuban revolution. 

According to Diaz-Canel, Havana is obligated to defend the new Constitution adopted by the country a few years ago and to ensure that all the laws that support the articles of the new Constitution are passed.

Furthermore, the Cuban president touched on the socially effective programs that Cuba supports, which are part of the people’s aspirations, among which are a program aimed at empowering women, a program against discrimination in all its forms, especially racial discrimination, a program against cultural colonialism and everything broadcast by the platforms working on bringing back capitalism and neoliberalism while imposing imperialist ideals, and social programs in the areas whose residents live in vulnerable situations.

“Three basic pillars have been established in the administration of the Communist Party of Cuba and the government regarding work on these programs. Among these pillars are science and innovation, as well as scientific research. The second pillar is the digital transformation of Cuban society, which also means a change in mentality.”

The third pillar, according to Diaz-Canel, is communication, i.e., the means of communication in Cuba and how Cuba could produce its own content through using the truth, as well as creating the means for confronting the smear campaign waged by the imperialist forces benefitting from their monopoly on social media platforms and the internet.

Diaz-Canel thanks Al Mayadeen

At the conclusion of his interview, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel directed a message to Cuba, calling on the country to never give up its commitment to defending the sovereignty and independence of the various peoples all over the world, as well as their right to independence, self-determination, and their land. He called on his country to never give up the mentality of a better world being a possibility and that the Cuban people must enable this world through their struggle.

Furthermore, Diaz-Canel told the free media, also known as alternative media, to never stop defending the peoples’ truth, roots, and identity, stressing the need for the media to use its platforms to produce anti-imperialist content, as well as content that combats banality.

The Cuban president also specifically addressed Al Mayadeen and the head of its Spanish department, Al Mayadeen Espanol, Wafiqa Ibrahim, by expressing his gratitude for the network’s compassion toward Cuba and how it treats the Cuban cause as its own.

Diaz-Canel also thanked Al Mayadeen for the support it has given the Cuban people during trying times when it came out to tell the truth about Cuba when defending Cuba was of utmost importance and scarce to see.

“I would also like to thank you for your professionalism; this professionalism through which you did not only address the reality of Cuba and the world alone, but also the viewpoint of the entire Arab World, its values, culture, history, and causes. Today, at this time in particular, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be in this exclusive interview. I think all of this has a lot to do with the fact that the Arab World and Cuba are two brotherly people. We are two brother nations, and we will always fight hasta la victoria siempre,” he underlined.

Finally, Diaz-Canel thanked Al Mayadeen for its documentary series Enigma, which told the tale of the Cuban revolution, saying it dealt with the Cuban revolution in a very adequate manner through the series.

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Havana and the world: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (II)

20 Mar 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President talks about Cuba’s stance on the war in Ukraine, and his country’s relationship with Russia, China, and other countries.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

During the second part of Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou’s interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the president discusses Cuba’s assessment of current alliances, in addition to its position on the war in Ukraine.

The Cuban president discussed the solid relationship that consolidates his country with Russia, China, and Iran, as well as his country’s relationship with Latin American leaders, and what he aspires for in the Arab region. He also expressed his admiration for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his desire to visit Damascus this year.

The world that Cuba aspires to

During his interview with Al Mayadeen, Diaz-Canel said that “the assessment of alliances in today’s world must be on the current context, and on an analysis of the current situation,” noting that this is related to what happened in the world, as the world is going through a multidimensional crisis.

He stresses that the situation has also been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has plunged the world into a state of uncertainty.

Diaz-Canel added, “Instead of enforcing the language of cooperation and respect for one another, the world has resorted to imposing new sanctions and resolving conflicts using the language of war.” “This is not the world we want and I think it is not the world that the majority of people on Earth want.”

“Today,” the Cuban president said, “we need a world capable of globalizing solidarity, peace, and friendship, a world that has a system of relations that defends pluralism,” noting that “this world is being built in accordance with common values ​​based on peace, solidarity, friendship, and pluralism, which are capable of preserving, first and foremost, the human race.”

He added that this issue was former Cuban President Fidel Castro’s concern from an early age, and it was mentioned in many of his messages to the world on various international occasions, and that Cuba aims to resolve conflicts through dialogue, and for the world to become more democratic.

The Cuban president asserted to Al Mayadeen the need to change the “current global economic system, because it is based on exploitation and inequality, serves the rich at the expense of the majority of the world’s poor, and does not offer developing countries any alternatives, as it is subject to the interests of military-industrial complexes and great Western powers.”

If “we are able to achieve alliances that contribute to achieving pluralism, understanding, respect for others, and the struggle for peace… these alliances will then be valid and supportive.”

In the same context, he refers to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), the alternative adopted by Latin America to confront the ALCA Free Trade Agreement, which represents an imperialist project.

One of the most important reasons for the success of these alliances is, according to Diaz-Canel, that they are based on cooperation, solidarity, and sincere stances, and not on concepts that prioritize money and the economy.

The president stressed that the Cuban revolution is based on sharing what it has with others, and that this is what the future of the world should be like.

Blame for Russia-Ukraine war lies with Washington

Regarding Cuba’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war, Diaz-Canel stressed that this conflict has serious consequences for the world, not just the parties involved. 

The president accused Washington of using its power of influence through the media to spread Russophobia and disinformation on the origin of the conflict, labeling Russia as a culprit while concealing the real reasons behind the war. 

He stressed that “the culprit in this conflict is the United States itself, which resorts to wars to solve its problems and overcome its crises,” adding that “Washington puts the interests of the military-industrial complex at the forefront, as it needs the war to sell weapons and to solve the internal problems it suffers from.”

The Cuban president indicated that the US has always sought to encircle Russia by promoting NATO expansionism on its borders, which he says Russia is aware of. The countries that are accomplices in the war will lose the most, he added, as they began to suffer from food shortages and an energy crisis, while those directly involved in the conflict are losing human lives.

The biggest beneficiary of the war, he said, is the US administration, and there need to be initiatives at the international level that facilitate the process of dialogue between the concerned parties to put an end to the war.

Diaz-Canel reiterated his country’s disapproval of the continued use of the language of war and the imposition of sanctions against Russia instead of dialogue, as these measures do not solve crises, but rather exacerbate the state of war. He added that the way Western nations are dealing with the crisis may drag the world into a possible world war.

He further wondered how Europe, which was the theater of two previous world wars, and the theater for Fascism and Nazism, is incapable of extracting the necessary lessons from history to play an effective role in avoiding a third world war.

Read next: Al Mayadeen CEO decorated with Cuba medal of friendship

Cuba’s relationship with China 

Speaking about Cuban-Chinese relations, the president stressed that his country and China enjoy historical and friendly relations, based on common principles that bring the two countries together.

He added that his country shares convictions with China regarding a structured socialist path in both countries that takes into account the specificities of each; both countries also share strong relations at the levels of their governments, peoples, and parties (the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of Cuba).

Diaz-Canel praised the Chinese model of socialism and reform, and its establishment of a firm economic base, which transformed it into one of the world’s great powers. He added that China adopted a distinguished position in terms of cooperation and solidarity, as is the case in Cuba, referring in this context to the initiatives and proposals presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping to achieve more harmony on the global level.

The Cuban president said that during his visit to China at the end of last year, he felt assured by the clear Chinese desire to support Cuba out of its crisis. He pointed out that during the visit, decisions were taken regarding the development of bilateral relations.

He said that China is one of Cuba’s main economic partners and that it is directly involved with Cuban energy, transportation, and telecommunication projects, referring also to the wide exchange between the two countries in terms of education, culture, science, technologies, and innovation, calling China “a friend of Cuba.”

Cuba’s relationship with Russia

Regarding Cuban-Russian relations, Diaz-Canel affirmed the high level of political, economic, and commercial relations between Moscow and Havana.

He added that Russia is present in the most strategic sectors that were developed within the national plan for economic and social development in Cuba until 2030: the energy sector, transportation and communications, cybersecurity, the mineral sector, the industrial sector, and in food production.

“There is a whole range of projects under development jointly with Russia.”

Diaz-Canel discussed how Russia sent a plane to assist his country during the Covid-19 pandemic and placed it at the disposal of Havana to transport oxygen cylinders imported from various places in Latin America and the Caribbean. He added that while Cuba was in a crisis, Russia donated factories to help it produce oxygen, and many concentrators, as did China.

The Cuban president touched on his recent visit to Russia, pointing out that he saw that Russian President Vladimir Putin understood Cuba’s problems, and Moscow’s political and governmental will to help alleviate the problems his country suffers from. He added that since that visit, Cuba has constantly been updated with regard to the agreements with Moscow, especially concerning energy and food.

He stressed that China and Russia are friendly states, and that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have demonstrated the will to embody a true friendship with Cuba.

During the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban president did not hide his admiration for his Russian counterpart, pointing out that Putin’s speeches are rich in historical references. He added that Putin is constantly referring to lessons from history in order to reaffirm what is happening today, and what needs to be done in the future.

He added that “I don’t think it was Putin who caused the conflict with Ukraine, they were about to impose a siege on the Russian Federation,” pointing out that the Russian president is defending Russia’s interests and security.

“Dialogue with the Russian president is not impossible, but rather possible, provided that it is linked to a sincere will and without the imposition of preconditions.”

Cuba’s relationship with Iran

Speaking about Cuban-Iranian relations, the Cuban president described Iran as Cuba’s sister nation. He said that the foundations of the relationship between the two countries are based on history and mutual respect, as well as the great resistance that the two people waged in the face of imperial blockades and sanctions.

According to the Cuban president, “the Cuban and Iranian people share an understanding of resistance, courage, heroism, dignity, and defiance to the plans of imperialist power.” 

He also expressed his appreciation for the Iranian leader, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, as a politician and as the leader of the Iranian Revolution, admiring his “tremendous capability for logical thinking and analysis,” also describing him as a wise leader.

The Cuban president indicated that the two countries are working on joint projects that serve the economic development of both, especially in the fields of energy and food. He pointed out that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi might visit his country, while also expressing his desire to visit Tehran this year.

Diaz-Canel stressed to Al Mayadeen that this year will witness a deepening of relations between the two countries, and the adoption of projects that are of mutual benefit. He specified both nations share mutual projects that include scientific research, technology, and energy.

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Iran’s culture, civilization, and resistance against aggression, and said that the technological development that Iran has achieved despite the embargo and sanctions is very important, and multifaceted, pointing out that being familiar with Iran’s development can benefit Havana.

Read next: Al Mayadeen, Cuban TV discuss cooperation, exchange of expertise

Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders

Regarding Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders, the Cuban president said that his country has deep ties with four Latin American leaders.

Cuba and Venezuela 

Diaz-Canel pointed out that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sowed hope in Venezuela, shining throughout Latin America, and that Venezuela has always been an important country and played a key role in Latin America, especially during Chavez’s leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution.

He added that many values ​​have come together in Chavez, as he was Bolivarian in thought par excellence, was well versed in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, and was an exceptional defender of Simon Bolivar’s thought and of the pioneers of liberation in Latin America.

The Cuban president noted that “Chavez was able, as an exemplary leader, to understand the concerns and aspirations of the Venezuelan people,” adding that the friendship between former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Chavez, “was like a father-son relationship.”

In this context, he referred to the achievements made by the two countries during the Chavez and Fidel eras, especially with regard to the ALBA. 

He added that when Chavez was head of the Bolivarian Revolution, he was preparing cadres who were distinguished by their true commitment to the revolution’s path, to the Venezuelan people, and their loyalty to the revolution, referring in this context to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The Cuban president described Maduro as a brother to Cuba, and admired how he defended the Bolivarian Revolution against all destabilization attempts planned by the US government. He pointed out that “Maduro, with his efforts and persistence, was able to achieve civil-military unity, preserve the Bolivarian Revolution, and move it forward on the path of victory.”

Cuba and Colombia

Speaking about Colombia, the Cuban president said that there is now a government in Colombia that prioritizes dialogue with Venezuela, adding that Nicolas Maduro and Gustavo Petro have agreed on a whole set of measures that also aim to ensure peace in one of Latin America’s most important regions. 

Cuba and Brazil 

The Cuban president also described his Brazilian counterpart, Lula da Silva, as an exceptional leader, pointing to his prominent role in extracting Brazil from its economic crisis, which turned it into a reference for what can be achieved in the policy of social justice, adding that “Lula doesn’t suit US interests, so the administration worked to discredit him by fabricating legal cases against him.”

He added that Lula did not surrender and did not accept any conditions to be imposed on him, despite his imprisonment and the pressure exerted on him to subdue him. He complimented the Brazilian president, stressing that his new projects help develop programs and investments in the country.

Cuba and Nicaragua

The Cuban president also expressed his admiration for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, noting that it was a success the United States could not bear, and against which it launched a fierce campaign of destabilization, backed by a fierce media campaign to discredit Nicaragua.

“Therefore, I believe that whenever we want to assess the situation in Nicaragua, we must start from where we proceed in our analysis of what the Sandinista revolution contributed to in the areas of economic and social development for the Nicaraguan people, and what the Sandinista revolution means in terms of building a state with national security, and remove everything related to imperialist distortion and tampering.”     

Cuba’s relationship with the Arab world

Regarding the island’s relationship with the Arab world, Diaz-Canel affirmed that Havana has good relations with Arab countries based on respect and mutual understanding of the historical and cultural specifics of each country.

He pointed out that there was space for cooperation, for the defense of common struggles, and coordination of efforts in international forums, adding that Cuba has always felt the solidarity and support of the Arab communities.

Diaz-Canel stressed that there is room to deepen the already strong ties on the economic and commercial level, as the historical foundations laid out for these relations are strong and Cuba looks to strengthen this relationship with the Arab world. 

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Syria’s courage, steadfastness, and self-confidence in the face of an aggressive campaign aimed at destroying it, noting that Syria, after many years of the unjust war against it, remained a strong and united nation. 

In this context, he praised the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “The Syrian president has shown sincerity to his people and has remained at the forefront without giving up… I have always seen a great deal of steadfastness and composure in him.”

Before concluding the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President renewed his support for Syria, saying that Havana will remain with the Syrian people, and condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression against it, as well as the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.

The Cuban president expressed his desire to visit Damascus this year and admired the nation’s steadfastness and the solidity and dignity of the Syrian people.

Read next: Cuba Revolution, US embargo: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (I)

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Arab leaders offer Syria billions in aid, sanctions relief if Assad pushes back against Iran: WSJ

March 16 2023

Arab leaders offered Assad help in lobbying the west to lift crushing economic sanctions, despite Washington’s disinterest in loosening its grip on Damascus

By News Desk

(Photo Credit: SANA via AP)

Arab leaders are offering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a deal that includes billions of dollars for reconstruction efforts and a pledge to lobby the west to lift sanctions in exchange for “[asking] Iran to stop expanding its footprint in the nation,” according to Arab and European officials that spoke with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Other conditions set by the leaders of the unnamed Arab nations include a pledge from Damascus to engage with opposition and rebel groups, accept Arab troops to “protect returning refugees,” and crack down on the captagon drug trade.

The secret talks reportedly gained momentum following the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkiye and Syria last month, killing 6,000 in the Levantine nation alone.

Nonetheless, a Syrian government adviser told the WSJ that Assad “has shown no interest in political reform or a willingness to welcome Arab troops.” Western powers have also made little effort to lift crushing sanctions or stop politicizing humanitarian aid deliveries.

Last month, US State Department spokesman Ned Price urged the international community not to let humanitarian assistance to Syria be accompanied by normalization, stressing: “[Washington’s] position on the Assad regime has not changed.”

The talks between Damascus and Arab leaders are reportedly backed by Saudi Arabia, which recently agreed to restore ties with Iran in a China-brokered deal. In recent weeks, Saudi officials have called for an end to the isolation of Syria to allow a response to its dire humanitarian crisis.

“There is a consensus building in the Arab world that the status quo is not tenable. And that means we have to find a way to move beyond that status quo,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said earlier this month.

European and Arab officials also confirmed to the WSJ that Syria’s regional reintegration would be high on the agenda at the next Arab League summit, set to be held later this year in Saudi Arabia.

In recent weeks, Jordan and Egypt sent their foreign ministers to Damascus for their first diplomatic visits since the war erupted in 2011.

Cairo in particular is spearheading a reconciliation plan which proposes restoring relations between Syria and Arab states to pre-2011 levels, returning Syria to the League of Arab States, and negotiating the deployment of joint “Arab forces” on the Syrian-Iraqi border, according to exclusive information made available to The Cradle.

Other Arab nations responsible for fueling the war in its early stages, such as Tunisia,  have announced plans to restore diplomatic ties.

Even before the earthquake hit, Arab nations had slowly started to rebuild ties with Syria after more than a decade of war and isolation, citing the failure of the US-sponsored war and concerns about Iran’s growing presence in the country.

Despite these concerns, Iran has welcomed progress between Syria and the Arab world. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani called it “a realistic approach” and “a positive step toward Islamic solidarity.”

Damascus has repeatedly denied “inaccurate reports about Iranian military forces in Syria” and asserts that “the number of Iranian advisors in Syria does not exceed 100.”

Hezbollah, Anti-imperialism, and the Compatible Left

March 11,

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Sammy Ismail 

A review of Banerjee’s “Fighting Imperialism and Authoritarian Regimes: Between the Devil and the Deep Sea” (2003) and Salamey’s “Hezbollah, Communitarianism, and Anti-Imperialism” (2019).

“such power and the people who excercised it, embodied a mystique, expressed not simply in guns but in books, uniforms, social behavior and a mass of manufactured products. Only by accepting these things and those who brought them would it be possible to penetrate this mystique and grasp the power which lay behind it” (Chris Calpham, Third World Politics: an introduction, 1985)

According to the Middle East Institute, the Washington-based think-tank, Hezbollah today stands as the “most formidable” armed non-state actor in the world. Hezbollah has developed exponentially since the 1980s growing to be the most numerously large political party in the Arab world, and spearheading the Axis of Resistance coalition against Zionism and US imperialism [and its Arab allies] in West Asia at large. The stance on Hezbollah has recurrently caused sharp disagreements among the Left in the Arab World and abroad: whereby some would promote anti-imperialist solidarity with the party, and others would explain away the party’s anti-imperialist achievements to critique other factors.  


In “Fighting Imperialism and Authoritarian Regimes: Between the Devil and the Deep Sea”, Sumanta Banerjee introduces a pertinent debate of leftist circles into academia (2003). Banerjee offers a critique of post-soviet anti-imperialism: contrasting old leftist anti-imperialist liberation movements with contemporary identity-based anti-imperialist liberation movements which presumably fall short of leftist standards of social liberation. He argues that the Left is regressing by uncritically prioritizing the contradiction of imperialism while overlooking other tenants of social liberation which he characterizes as violating “the beliefs and operative norms” of “the Left and democratic forces” (S. Banerjee, 2003, p:183). 

The regression and eventual dissolution of the USSR stifled the popularity of socialist ideals and did away with the blanket ideology that most anti-imperialist actors adopted a variant of. It became a notable trend of liberation movements, especially in West Asia, to turn towards their respective cultures for revolutionary inspiration rather than turning to the literature of scientific socialism. The prior leftwing secular character of liberation movements was replaced by cultural indigenous ideologies: the most distinguished among which is Hezbollah.  

In his article, Banerjee condemns these non-socialist anti-imperialist movements as ‘authoritarian’. He doesn’t directly address Hezbollah but poses a critique generally to all non-socialist anti-imperialist actors. He argues that they hardly any better than their imperialist oppressors such that they too stifle social liberation: thus allegorizing the latter as the ‘Devil’ and the former as the ‘Deep Sea’ (S. Banerjee, 2003, p:184). He adds that the anti-imperialist struggle against US hegemony has been distorted since the time of ‘Che Guevara’ and ‘Nelson Mandela’ (S. Banerjee, 2003, p:183). Many leftists, he argues, have remained uncritically fixated on supporting any party opposing US hegemony regardless of other factors; he theorizes that they have been so blinded by the evils of the Devil that they have obliviously backed up into the embrace of the Deep Sea (S. Banerjee, 2003).

Banerjeee’s argument, essentially, challenges the precedence of the struggle against imperialism in leftist lore and activism. The novel significance of his article is that it formulates a topic heatedly debated in vintage cafes and niche pubs, and introduces it into academia where it can be scientifically unpacked. While he doesn’t address Hezbollah directly, his arguments echo those posed by some leftists against initiatives for political affinity with Hezbollah. 


Imad Salamey (2019) comports the aforementioned argument to be point-precise geared toward Hezbollah by introducing the prospect of “communitarianism”. Salamey explains in “Hezbollah, Communitarianism, and Anti-Imperialism” that Hezbollah is one byproduct of the global trend of communitarianism (2019). Communitarianism, Salamey explains, arises as a result of the ferocious expansion of capitalism and the equivocal decline of nation-states with the curbing of governments in favor of laissez-faire market policies (2019).

In the absence of the state’s welfare role, communities turn inwards for a safety net. Hezbollah’s inception in Lebanon came in this context: in light of the Shia community’s social marginalization, the sectarian chaos of the Lebanese civil war, and the recurrent Zionist attacks on the predominantly shia-populated south. Hezbollah arose as the safety net for its immediate community against the ills of capitalism and imperialism. 

Salamey explains that communitarianism is rooted in a “primordial cultural solidarity” which undermines the nation-state (2019); In the case of Hezbollah, this underlying cultural solidarity was of that between the Iranian and Lebanese Shias: which was optimized ultimately in the form of the robust alliance between Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolution’s Guard Corps. 

Before unpacking the communitarian basis of Hezbollah, Salamey aimed to synthesize the general conception of anti-imperialism in Marxist lore and then presented the two as incompatible. He argues that:

  1. The Marxist directive for revolution, and by extension anti-imperialist praxis, is premised upon the Westphalian conception of the nation-state (liberation is the liberation of a nation within a state),
  2. Communitarianism by definition undermines the nation-state, and Hezbollah is manifestly communitarian (primarily because of its substate identity)
  3. Thus, Hezbollah isn’t anti-imperialist (the strive against American imperialism is accidental and not decisively anti-imperialist).  

The conclusion of Salamey’s article builds on that of Banerjee’s: leftists in support of Hezbollah under the pretext of anti-imperialist solidarity are violating the ideological beliefs and operative norms of the Left (Salamey, Hezbollah, Communitarianism, and Anti-Imperialism, 2019; Banerjee, Between the Devil and the Deep Sea, 2003). This Post-Soviet Communitarian critique of Hezbollah roughly presents some arguments typically posed by western and westernized leftists denouncing affinity with Hezbollah. 

Argument 1: Hezbollah isn’t Leftist  

One of the typical discourse narratives posed against affinity with Hezbollah is by wistfully contrasting Hezbollah with the romanticized leftist anti-imperialist icons such as Che Guevara or Nelson Mandela. While this is a unscientific criticism of Hezbollah that is uncommon among credible Leftist intellectuals or noteworthy parties, it is popular among the contemporary ‘woke’ left as a to-go-to argument. 

The objective of conjuring the picturesque revolutionary experiences of Guevara and Mandela is to undermine Hezbollah’s strive for liberation in contrast. Proponents of such speaking points aim to marginalize Hezbollah’s achievements against Zionist colonialism and Takfiri fascism by putting it in competition with icons like Guevara or Mandela: In an effort to present Hezbollah’s anti-imperialist efforts as ‘accidental’ or ‘isolated incidents’ sidelining them in the assessment of Hezbollah’s character. 

These speaking points offer no real critique but only employ symbolic smearing to contain Hezbollah’s popularity momentum from extending to the Left-wing in the Arab World and the West. Such smear-campaigning speaking points are comparable to that posed against the Red Army in the late 1940s. The Red Army led by Stalin had taken on the full brunt of the Nazi war machine and liberated Europe from the ruthless rule of Nazism suffering 8.6 million deaths in the process (which is 10 times more than the deaths suffered by the US, Britain, and France combined). However this fact was actively distorted for western public opinion: presenting the victory over Fascism as a victory of all the “Allied Powers”, presenting the Red Army as only a marginal contributor to this victory, and presenting Stalin as an anti-christian-church-destroyer to the conservative working class in Europe and the US.

Argument 1 marginalizes Hezbollah’s admirable strife against the Zionist and Takfiri footsoldiers of US imperialism. It conditions support for Hezbollah upon the party’s self-identification as a leftist party, factoring out the consequential significance of Hezbollah’s strife against the forces of reaction. A bullet that pierces the heart of a colonizing soldier or a fanatic fascist promotes people’s liberation regardless of the ideological incentives which motivate the soldier.  

Argument 2: Hezbollah isn’t Secular

While argument 1 stands as a strawman argument against leftist solidarity with Hezbollah, other arguments present a more sophisticated version of Argument 1. Primarily, and most commonly, is the argument referring to the Islamic ideology of Hezbollah: an argument that is alluded to by the aforementioned prospect of communitarianism (Salamey, 2019). 

It is argued that Leftists can’t stand in solidarity with Hezbollah despite its anti-imperialist practice and stance because of its Islamic ideology. The Shia Islamic ‘communitarian’ character (or the ‘sectarian’ character of Hezbollah, to put it in the language of Lebanese political discourse), is argued, to devalue Hezbollah’s revolutionary anti-imperialist character.

Proponents of this argument explain that Hezbollah’s strife against Zionists and Takfiris arises from an in-group (shia community) v out-group (non-shia communities) rationale rather than a scientific understanding of imperialism: whereby imperialism is defined as the byproduct of the disproportionate accumulation of capital in favor of some nations at the expense of others, which entails the exploitation of the latter by the former for the purposes of maximizing economic interests (Lenin, Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1917).

Hezbollah, however, isn’t sectarian despite adopting a religious ideology and employing religious discourse. The party’s praxis isn’t a zero-sum game of competition with other religious groups and this is assessed consequentially (i.e. in terms of results). Even if we were to entertain this faulty accusation and grant the validity of inferring chauvinistic sectarianism from religiosity, Hezbollah’s anti-imperialist character still holds. Assuming that Hezbollah is a “sectarian” communitarian party and interpreting wars in the “middle east” from an orientalist lens as irrational wars between different tribes motivated by identitarian chauvinism, Hezbollah’s praxis remains consequentially anti-imperialist praxis. Even if we were to assume that the Party’s wars against Zionists and Takfiris is motivated by an inter-communitarian feud, this doesn’t change the fact that (1) Zionists and Takfiris were acting as footsoldiers of Imperialism and (2) Hezbollah’s strife against them was successful and effective.  

This line of reasoning is cited by prominent theorists of Scientific Socialism. Marx and Engels hailed the Irish struggle for independence from British colonialism while acknowledging that the Irish liberation movement was prominently led by Catholic clergymen and that the conflict of decolonization had manifested for the Irish fighters as a war for protecting the catholicization of the indigenous population of the Island against the Protestant British invaders (Marx &Engels, On the Irish Question,1867). 

Additionally, Stalin, in “Foundations of Leninism” when addressing the monarchist Emir’s efforts for liberation in Afghanistan, emphasized assessing liberation movements according to the results which they yield rather than according to a checklist of democratic standards (1924). “The national movement of the oppressed countries should be appraised not from the point of view of formal democracy, but from the point of view of actual results, as shown by the general balance sheet of the struggle against imperialism. The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican program of the movement, or the existence of a democratic basis of the movement.” (Stalin, 1924). 

More so, however, Hezbollah stands as significantly more politically sophisticated than the Irish liberation movement in the 1860s (endorsed by Marx and Engels) or the Afghan Emir’s liberation attempt (endorsed by Stalin). The party’s religious and cultural ideology doesn’t exclude a scientific conception of imperialism as expressly stated in their 2009 manifesto. In the Chapter on Domination and Hegemony, it reads “Savage capitalism forces – embodied mainly in international monopoly networks of companies that cross the nations and continents, networks of various international establishments especially the financial ones backed by superior military force have led to more contradictions and conflicts – of which not less important – are the conflicts of identities, cultures, civilizations, in addition to the conflicts of poverty and wealth. These savage capitalism forces have turned into mechanisms of sowing dissension and destruction of identities as well as imposing the most dangerous type of cultural, national, economic as well as social theft. Globalization reached its most dangerous facet when it turned into a military one led by those following the Western scheme of domination – of which it was most reflected in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon, where the latter’s share was the July 2006 aggression by the ‘Israelis’ ”(2009). 

Islamic Fervor 

Marxism isn’t as vehemently anti-religion as McCarthyists and infantile leftists make it seem. Dominoquo Losurdo unpacks this adequately in “Class Struggle: A Political and Philosophical History” (2016). He explains that, historically, the classes of society achieved initial awareness of the national question through religion: that It was through religious idioms and prospects that people became conscious of real material contradictions. “Marx and Engels carefully avoided indiscriminate liquidation of movements inspired by religion… Religious affiliation can be experienced very intensely and mobilized effectively in political and historical upheaval, but is not the primary cause of such conflict” (Losurdo, 2016). 

In the case of Hezbollah, political theory and praxis of anti-zionism and anti-imperialism was developed in reference to the Epic of Karbala, in which Al-Hussein fought ferociously for justice against the tyranny of Yazid. This cultural narrative is native to the Lebanese Shia even prior to the inception of Hezbollah. The cultural significance and religious rituals of Aashura weren’t parachuted from Iran on the eve of the Islamic revolution. Aashura is a historic watershed of Arab history. It symbolizes an indigenous revolution against the tyranny of the Islamic caliphate: the descendants of the Prophet contended the distorted interpretation of Islam which manufactured political legitimacy for tyrant caliphs by triumphing the authentic interpretation of Islam which promotes the normative ideal of justice.   

One would dismiss this, citing Marx: “religion is the opiate of the masses” (Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of the Right, 1843). Aashura, however, unlike the religious narratives which promote pacifism referenced by Marx in his opiate metaphor, acted as a catalyst for the masses of the Lebanese Shia community to bear arms against Imperialist projects.

Hezbollah capitalized on the Epic of Aashura which has long been transmitted from generation to generation in this community. The narrative was allegorically projected to contemporary politics following a scientific analysis of the material contradictions as the 2009 manifesto expressly elaborates. The cultural spite against Yazid’s injustice and tyranny was evoked by Hezbollah’s clergymen to be compared to the hegemony of the US empire, and consequently mobilizing hundreds against the proxies of imperialism. This tactic of mobilization proved exceptionally effective in consolidating the world’s most powerful non-state actor, reversing the Arab nation’s setback in their struggle against Israeli colonialism, and snuffing out the deviant Takfiri fascist enterprise in the Levant.

“What human consciousness does is try to understand the world. When social life is calm, so are ideologies; when class conflicts come to existence so too do competing ideologies and conscious statements; and only when a revolutionary class arises can revolutionary ideas come into being” (Peter Stillman, Marx Myths and Legends, 2005)  

Picturesquely, it is the whispered Islamic idioms that teemed serenity and discipline in the hearts of fighters fortified in Bint Jbeil as they took on the full brunt of the Israeli war machine, and it is the battle cry of “Ya Zaynab” which resounded as Kornet ATGMs flattened Israeli tanks back in 2006.  

The Compatible Left 

However, acknowledging criticism and engaging in self-criticism is central to the development and optimization of political praxis. A scientific analysis, regardless of the conclusion it’s comported towards, is generally beneficial. It introduces theoretical concepts that allow one to think better of complicated issues and theorize about them: like the allegory of the devil and the deep sea (S. Banerjee, 2003) or the trend of ‘communitarianism’ (I. Salamey, 2019). 

In the same context, to frame the discourse and filter critique from smear campaigning, it is notable to introduce a term coined by CIA strategists: The Compatible Left.  Which refers to leftist intellectuals and parties coopted by the CIA in an effort to manufacture a Left that is compatible with imperialism. The Compatible Left is also comparable with the Neo-comprador class which James Petras theorizes about in “NGOs: In the Service of Imperialism” (2007). The compatible left is an inconsequential left: it employs leftist lore and language while ensuring that the status quo of imperialism remains robust and unchallenged.

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The Syrian Earthquake Has United the Arab World

Steven Sahiounie


Close to 9 million people in Syria have been affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, 65 seconds in duration on February 6, that Turkish President Erdogan has compared with the power released by atomic bombs. The hardest hit areas are Latakia, Aleppo, and Idlib.

The UN estimates that more than 4.2 million people have been affected in Aleppo province with 400,000 homeless, and 5,000 buildings declared unlivable. Aleppo has more than 1,600 dead and 10,000 injured.

The province of Idlib is a total population estimated at 3 million, but because there is no government or authority there, we can only guess how many have been affected.

UAE Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

The UN says 5.5 million Syrians are without a home after the earthquake, with more than 7,400 buildings having been destroyed completely, or partially in Syria.

In Latakia, there are 820 dead, 142,000 homeless, and over 2,000 injured, with 102 buildings completely collapsed, and others condemned.

A total of 58 trucks have crossed from Turkey to north-west Syria through the Bab al Hawa crossing point over the past five days, carrying aid such as food, tents, and medicines. Those trucks are solely supplying Idlib, under the occupation of the armed group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Eleven trucks have gone through the newly opened border crossing of Bab al Salam today, carrying non-food items such as blankets, and mattresses.

Iraqi AAid plan landing in Damascus international Airport

Location matters in this quake

The map will show that Aleppo, Syria is just south of Gaziantep, Turkey which was the epicenter. Aleppo was heavily damaged in the earthquake, adding more misery to a city that was under the occupation of Al Qaeda terrorists in the eastern section until being liberated in December 2016.

Looking at a map, you see that Latakia is a 2 ½ hour drive west of Aleppo on the M4 highway. It seems like a long distance, but the power of the 7.8 magnitude brought the epicenter and Latakia together because they share the same fault line, which Aleppo does not.

Tunisian Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

UN: no roadblocks to aid, no politics

Rula Amin, UN Refugee Agency Senior Communications Advisor, urged cooperation among nations to help Turkey and Syria. She said there should be no roadblocks to assistance for people in need. Referring to the UN and western aid coming almost exclusively to Idlib, and by-passing those in need in Latakia and Aleppo, she urged all to put politics aside, and focus on getting aid to those in need regardless of whether they are in the US-EU supported area in Idlib, or whether they live in Aleppo and Latakia under the Syrian administration from Damascus. Amin is no stranger to Syria. In March 2011, Amin was one of the very first international journalists in Deraa, covering what she had claimed was a ‘popular uprising’, and even interviewed the cleric who was the key player of the Obama-designed US-NATO attack on Syria for ‘regime change

.’ She did not go as far as to demand the lifting of all US-EU sanctions on Syria to send aid, but her meaning was clear. The sanctions prevent aid from arriving in Damascus. On February 9 the US Department of the Treasury issued General License 23, which allows for a humanitarian waiver of supplies to government-controlled areas in Syria, but must be received by an NGO and not the Syrian government. The 180-day waiver is far too short, as the need is enormous, and will people will need years to grapple with the damages.  Rebuilding homes and businesses may take a decade or more. Also, most governments abroad would be sending official aid to Syria through a government-to-government mechanism, and using an NGO is a tedious stipulation designed to discourage aid from being sent.

Who gave to Damascus?

On Tuesday, a plane landed from Saudi Arabia at the Aleppo International Airport, carrying 35 tons of humanitarian aid.  Aid to Damascus also arrived from: ChinaRussia, AlgeriaIraqIranUAE, BangladeshLibyaBelarusJordanCuba, Venezuela, Tunisia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Cyprus, Hungary, India, and Sudan.

Jordanian Aid plane landing in Damascus international Airport

Italy sent two planeloads of aid to Beirut, Lebanon to be transported to Syria by land. This demonstrates the extreme fear that western allies of the US have of the sanctions. By sending the aid to Lebanon, which is not sanctioned, Italy feels more comfortable that the US Treasury will not issue massive penalties against them.

Who refused aid to Damascus?

The US, the EU, and all US allies such as Canada have sent nothing to Syria for the earthquake-ravaged zones of Latakia and Aleppo.  According to America, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the allies of the US, there is no place called Syria.  There is only a small, rural agricultural province called Idlib.  Syria is 10,000 years old, and Damascus and Aleppo both tie as the undisputed oldest inhabited cities on earth.  But the great minds in Washington, DC. only acknowledge the tiny area called Idlib.  The terrorist-controlled Idlib is suffering, and has innocent unarmed civilians in need of help; however, Latakia, and Aleppo are far bigger and have sustained more deaths, injuries, and structural damages than Idlib. The US and the west have used politics to judge who gets helped, and who is forgotten. The Syrian people will never forget this. The US and EU sanctions have made life unbearable in Syria before the earthquake of the century, and now when politics should be set aside for humanitarian needs, the US doggedly holds on to their dogmatic ideology to make sure the Syrian people know the full disdain of the American government. The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates visited Damascus and met with President Assad after the quake, in an act of defiance of US-dictated policy.

Algerian aid plane in Aleppo International Airport

Where is Government controlled Syria?

The US-NATO attack on Syria beginning in March 2011 has resulted in three separate administrations in Syria.  The biggest territory, about 75%, is the central government in Damascus. Aleppo and Latakia are the two hardest hit by the earthquake which is under the Damascus administration.

The second administration is the province of Idlib, which is an olive-growing region between Latakia and Aleppo. There is no government there.  The 3 million persons there live under the occupation of an armed terrorist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly called Jibhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. The terrorists embedded themselves there in 2012, and until now are safe from attack because the US, EU, and UN all lobby for their protection, and aid. The US supports the Al Qaeda terrorists because they represent the US interests in Syria to be decided upon in a final political settlement in Syria under the auspices of the UN.

The third administration is the Kurdish self-proclaimed region of the northeast, where the US military is occupying the Syrian oil wells, and allowing the Kurds to sell the stolen oil in Iraq to cover their expenses. This area was not affected by the earthquake. This administration exists separate from Damascus only because of the US military illegal occupation

Where is Idlib?

Many of the residents of Idlib most affected by the earthquake have had to sleep outside among the olive groves, in freezing temperatures. The UN acknowledged the international response to Idlib has been a failure.

Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets, an award-winning video troupe headquartered in Washington, DC. has denounced the UN as incompetent in their response to the needs in Idlib. The White Helmets work solely in Idlib and have international donors. Al-Saleh was angry after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Syrian President Assad had agreed to allow UN aid deliveries to the area through two border crossings from Turkey for three months. The White Helmets and the terrorists do not recognize the Syrian government.  Damascus had tried to send aid to Idlib, but the terrorists turned it back saying, “We don’t want help from the enemy.”  Previously the UN trucks of aid to Idlib were also stalled after the terrorists demanded a $1,000 fee for each of the 10 trucks.

Why are the borders controlled?

The Syrian government has controlled the border crossings of Syria for security reasons. Serena Shim, an American journalist from Detroit, witnessed and reported seeing a UN food truck carrying Al Qaeda terrorists, and their weapons, from Turkey into Syria near Idlib. She was murdered in Turkey just days after publishing her report.

The terrorists in Idlib are contained in a small area and have weapons including missiles which have frequently been directed at Latakia, and Kessab, a small Christian Armenia village just north of Latakia. The Syrian government wants to keep the weapons from flowing into Idlib while allowing UN, and other humanitarian aid to flow into the 3 million civilians who are held there as human shields.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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Palestine is My Cause: Arabs Reaffirm Support for Palestinians, Rejection of the Occupation

February 1, 2023

Palestinians in Gaza gathered in large numbers to watch the Morocco-Portugal game at World Cup’s quarterfinals. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is

The latest Arab Opinion Index 2022 is yet more proof that Arab societies are diverse in every possible way, from their assessment of their economic situation and living conditions to their take on immigration, state institutions and democracy. With one single exception: Palestine.

76 percent of all respondents to the poll, which is carried out annually by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, said that Palestine is a cause for all Arabs, not Palestinians alone.

Three important points must be kept in mind when trying to understand this number:

First, Arabs are not merely expressing sympathy or solidarity with Palestinians. They are irrevocably stating that the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli Occupation is a collective Arab struggle.

Second, these views are the same across all sections of society throughout the entire geographic expanse of the Arab world, from the Gulf to the Maghreb regions.

Third, equally important is that the public opinions that have been examined in the poll come from countries whose governments have either full diplomatic ties with Israel or vehemently reject normalization.

The study is quite extensive, as it included 33,000 individual respondents and was carried out in the period between June to December 2022.

Once again, the Arab people collectively reject normalization with Israel, with Algeria and Mauritania topping the list at 99 percent each.

Though some might discount the detailed study by claiming that Arabs inherently hate Israel due to their deep-seated aversion to the Jews, the study breaks down the reason why Arab masses have such a low opinion of Israel.

When they were asked as to why they reject diplomatic ties between their countries and Israel, the respondents mostly “cited Israel’s colonial and expansionist policies, as well as its racism toward the Palestinians and its persistence in expropriating Palestinian land.”

Only five percent cited religious reasons behind their position and that too cannot be dismissed as mere religious zealotry, as indeed many Arabs formulate their views based on the moral values enshrined in their religions; for example, the need to oppose and speak out against injustice.

It must be stated that this is hardly new. Arabs have exhibited these views with an unmistakable consistency, since the start of the Arab Opinion Index in 2011 and one would dare argue, since the establishment of Israel atop the ruins of Palestine in 1948.

But if that is the case, why are the latest poll results deserving of a discussion?

While examining the American public view of Russia, the state of democracy in the US, or the greatest threat to national security, opinion polls often fluctuate from one year to the other. For example, 70 percent of all Americans considered Russia an ‘enemy’ to the US in March, compared to only 41 percent in January.

The massive jump in two months is not directly related to the Russian war in Ukraine, since Ukraine is not a US territory, but because of the anti-Russia media frenzy that has not ceased for a moment since the beginning of the war.

However, for Arabs, neither media shift in priorities, internal politics, class orientation or any other factor seem to alter the status of Palestine as the leading Arab priority.

In 2017 and 2022 respectively, two American presidents visited the Arab region. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden labored to execute a major shift in the region’s political priorities.

Biden summed up his agenda in a meeting with six Arab leaders in Jeddah in July by stating, “This trip is about once again positioning America in this region for the future. We are not going to leave a vacuum in the Middle East for Russia or China to fill.”

None of these self-serving priorities seem to be paying any real dividends.

That said, the pressure to dismiss the centrality of Palestine as an Arab cause does not only come from the outside. It is also guided by the internal dynamics of the region itself. For example, some pan-Arab news networks, which put much focus on Palestine in previous years, have been relentlessly and, sometimes, purposely, ignoring Palestine as an urgent daily reality in favor of other topics that are consistent with the regional policies of host countries.

Yet, despite all of this, Palestine remains the core of Arab values, struggles and aspirations. How is this possible?

Unlike most Americans, Arabs do not necessarily formulate their views of the world based on the media agenda of the day, nor do they alter their behavior based on presidential speeches or political debates. To the contrary, their collective experiences made them particularly cynical of propaganda and fiery speeches. They formulate their views based on numerous grassroots channels of communication, whether using social media tools or listening to the Friday sermon in their local mosque.

The struggle for Palestine has been internalized in the everyday acts of the average Arab woman or man; from the names they choose for their newborn, to the quiet muttering of prayers before falling asleep. No amount of propaganda can possibly reverse this.

Arab public opinion obviously matters, even though most Arab countries do not have functioning democratic systems. In fact, they matter most because of the lack of democracy.

Every society must have a system of political legitimacy, however nominal, for it to maintain relative stability. It means that the collective Arab view in support of Palestinians and rejection of normalization without an end to Israeli Occupation would have to be taken seriously.

Though some Arab governments are listening to their people and thus condition normalization on Palestinian freedom and sovereignty, the US and Israel insist on ignoring the Arab masses, as they have done for many years. However, if Washington believes that it can simply compel the Arabs to hate Russia and China and love Israel, while the latter continues to kill Palestinians and occupy their land, it will be sorely disappointed, not only today, but for many years to come.

Algeria Declaration: Palestine is our central cause

2 Nov 2022 19:06

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The concluding statement of the Arab Summit emphasizes supporting OPEC+’s decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day.

The Arab Summit demanded lifting the unjust blockade on Gaza.

The Arab League Summit issued, on its second day in the Palace of Conferences in Algiers, the Algeria Declaration document.

The heads of the Arab states stressed “the centrality of the Palestinian cause and full support for the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to freedom and self-determination and the right to return, in addition to making the compensation payments for the Palestinian refugees, in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 194 of 1948.”

The Summit demanded lifting the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and condemning the Israeli occupation’s brutality and barbaric practices against Palestinians, including assassinations and arbitrary arrests.” The Summit also called for the release of all prisoners and detainees, especially children, women, the sick, and the elderly.

The statement emphasized the necessity of “endorsing the pursuit of the Palestinian state to obtain full membership at the United Nations and urging the countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine to do so, coupled with the necessity of supporting the legal Palestinian efforts and attempts to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its war crimes.”

Moreover, the statement confirmed that the Summit supports the policy of OPEC+, which includes oil-producing countries from inside and outside the OPEC organization, in the global energy market.

Algeria confirmed that it “appreciates the balanced policy of the OPEC+ alliance in order to ensure the stability of the global energy markets and sustainability of investments in this sensitive sector as part of an economic approach that ensures protecting the interests of producing and consuming countries alike.”

On October 5, OPEC+ announced reducing oil by two million barrels a day in order to support the markets facing the risk of a decrease in demand for crude oil due to the economic crisis.

The attending states also rejected “all forms of foreign intervention in the Arab countries’ internal affairs” and expressed their insistence on the principle of finding Arab solutions to Arab problems by strengthening the role of the Arab League in preventing crises and solving them through peaceful means and working to strengthen inter-Arab relations.

The attending Arab countries expressed “full solidarity with the Libyan people and support for the efforts aimed at ending the Libyan crisis through a Libyan-Libyan solution that preserves the unity and sovereignty of Libya and safeguards its security and that of the neighboring countries.”

The statement concluded, “All the states should assume a collective leading role to contribute to the efforts made in order to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis and address all the political, security, humanitarian, and economic repercussions, through what ensures the unity and sovereignty of Syria and realizes the ambitions of its people.”

Algerian FM Ramtane Lamamra: The success of the Algerian summit is the success of all Arabs

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra considered on Wednesday that the success of the Algerian summit is the success of all Arabs who knew how to come together and agree after the Corona pandemic and realized the importance of unity and the sensitivity of the regional and global situation.

Lamamra said that “the attendance was significant, positive, and constructive, and everyone was eager to apply whatever can contribute to the Arab unity.”

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The Palestinian Resistance is beyond sectarian disintegration

October 29 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Myriam Charabaty 

Christians are an integral part of Palestine, the region’s social fabric and the Arab world’s identity as a whole. Despite the Collective and Historic-West’s active attempt to isolate and contain the Christian role in the struggle for national liberation through the resettlement of Arab and Palestinian Christians in exile, it remains that the formation of the Arab national identity, through the entirety of its social fabric, is rooted in their unified historical and cultural background and identity.

“We will not kneel! Yes, we seek peace but we will not surrender.”

There is a direct correlation between the extent to which people value their lives and their willingness to defend the Arab identity of Palestine, which is integral to the Arab social fabric of the entire region. This correlation between Arabs and their land has manifested as Resistance movements across the Arab world. More specifically, it became visible in liberation movements seeking to liberate Palestine from the settler colonial entity of “Israel” as a primary front for Arab liberation from Western hegemony. This is to say that “Israel” is merely an agent of hegemony seeking to ensure the continuous security and sustainability of the Western project of the New Middle East as it was initially developed through the enforcement of the Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreement. 

As Palestinians and Arabs sacrifice their lives for liberation, the narrative of Christians, be it in Palestine or across the Arab world, is being purposefully obliterated. Having systematically fragmented the Christian voice of Palestinians and the surrounding Sykes-Picot-generated entities through settler colonialism and fragmentation practices, it has become necessary to dissect the Western-led Israeli narrative, despite all Western efforts to obstruct that process, and highlight the engagement of the Christian segment in liberation movements, be it armed resistance or otherwise, across the Arab world. 

Christians are an integral part of the region’s social fabric and of the Arab world’s identity as a whole. Despite the Collective and Historic West’s active attempt to isolate and contain the Christian segment’s role in the struggle for national liberation through the resettlement of Arab and Palestinian Christians in exile, it remains that the formation of the Arab national identity, through the entirety of its social fabric ―Christians, Muslims, Druze, Jews, and all minority groups and confessions― is rooted in their unified historical and cultural background and identity. 

“Israel” isolates Christians from Palestine and the cause

The Palestinian people, both Muslim and Christian alike, believe that the land upon which people walk, in Palestine, and Al-Quds more specifically, is sacred. The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia, Atallah Hanna, has consecrated on several occasions the relationship between the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He reaffirmed the Arab identity of Al-Quds, that of both its land and people, as an integral part of the larger Arab world in the face of the settler colonial entity that is considered the primary threat in the path toward Arab liberation.

Since the 1948 Nakba of Palestine, the Haganah massacres that led to it, in addition to the establishment of the Israeli settler colonial entity, there has been an active and continuous attempt by the Israelis to alter the identity of Palestine. They sought to eliminate its Arab historic and cultural features in the hopes of putting an end to the righteous Arab Palestinian cause and thus legitimizing their settler existence, as well as the sustainability of the non-nations of Sykes-Picot. The Zionist entity, in other words, looked to install the foreverness of a fragmented Arab national identity. 

In this regard, Christian Palestinians did not stand idle, nor did they ever abandon the Palestinian struggle, nor their Arab identity, neither at home nor in exile. Archbishop Hanna reaffirmed that the settler colonial entity threatened the Arab social fabric, history, and national identity, and noted that it cannot “remove Al-Quds from the Palestinian conscience, be it that of Christians or Muslims.”

He further called on Palestinian Christians everywhere “not to forget their church,” adding that Palestine “is their spiritual roots and their national roots, they belong here, and their identity is rooted in this region’s history. They must never forget their Palestinian heritage.”

Brothers in Arms

On October 23, 2022, the Israeli occupation assassinated Tamer Al-Kilani, a Palestinian Resistance fighter from the Lions’ Den group in the West Bank’s Nablus, via a TNT device planted on a motorcycle next to his.  

This marks the latest of the ever-ongoing assassination policy of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian Resistance leaders. However, since the beginning of 2022, the IOF has intensified its assassinations and has even used drones and TNT devices to conduct them.  

While many Christian resistance fighters became renowned in the earlier stages of the Palestinian struggle, such as Ghassan Kanafani and Georges Habash, since the Second Intifada, there became a generation of Arabs – both Christian and Muslim – that have questioned the role of Christians in Palestinian liberation movements.  

In 2006, shortly after the end of the Second Intifada, there was a general decision between Palestinian Resistance groups and the Palestinian Authority to de-escalate. During that time, two young men were assassinated for insisting on carrying the legacy of those that were martyred before them.  

Martyr Daniel Abu Hamama, in his early 20s at the time, was assassinated alongside martyr Ahmed Musleh who was around the same age, on Easter Sunday after they were driven into an ambush. In 1990, Abu Hamama joined the Palestinian Authority’s special forces apparatus, seeking a job to support his family. As the confrontations intensified prior to the start of the Second Intifada, Abu Hamama joined the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah. 

  • The IOF assassinate Palestinian Resistance fighters Martyrs Daniel Abu Hamama and Ahmad Musleh in 2006

The IOF’s bullets obstructed Abu Hamama’s path to Beit Lahm in the West Bank, preventing him from attending the Easter celebration with his family and loved ones.  

That evening, the IOF bullets turned Daniel’s holiday delight into a reminder that the way of the Cross ends in resurrection and is the only way to salvation.

His blood quenched the soil that Christians consider the birthplace of Christianity.  The assassination targeted the car Abu Hamama was in with his two friends, Martyr Ahmed Musleh and Arafat Abu Shaira, who was injured during the attempt. 

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Al-Quds News, “When Daniel fell from the vehicle, bleeding, the occupation soldiers attacked, dragging him to the ground to a warehouse 15 meters away from the vehicle, taking off his clothes,” pointing out that “people in the neighboring area then heard the sound of gunfire inside, which made them believe there’s an interrogation. Then, an execution had taken place before an IOF ambulance came and held his body for two days.”

His mother’s words ring notably: “Praise be to God, who honored our son by allowing him martyrdom in defense of the dear homeland,” noting that Abu Hamama has “always wished to be martyred.”

A School of Liberation Theology

Abu Hamama would not have been the first or last Christian to join Fatah. Long before him, the protector of Al-Quds and exiled freedom fighter Archbishop Hilarion Cappucci had assisted Fatah for years before he was arrested and then exiled. 

Cappucci was known for having been both a clergyman and a freedom fighter, a boy from Syria’s Aleppo that refused to watch Palestine suffer. When Al-Aqsa Mosque called for help, he ordered for the bells of the Church of the Sepulcher to be tolled. In his approach toward the Palestinian struggle, Cappucci left behind him a legacy. He became a symbol of confrontation on the individual, religious, and national levels. A symbol of unity of ranks in purpose and fate, and thus a symbol of the Arab liberation theology uniting Christians and Muslims across the Arab and Islamic worlds. 

In his own words, Cappucci summarized his legacy, and that of all those who have chosen to follow in his footsteps, when he said “We will not kneel! Yes, we seek peace but we will not surrender. What we demand is righteousness and justice, and God is righteousness and justice. And if God is with us, then who is against us? Therefore, our dark nights must end, and our chains must be broken.”

Furthermore, the Syrian Archbishop of Al-Quds also said “I, who have lived in Al-Quds for long, have prayed to the verses of its minarets and the tolling of its church bells. I have extended my hand, at times of adversity, to assist Palestinian freedom fighters…and because of that I was arrested and exiled,” calling on generations not to abandon this legacy for the sake of Palestine, and stressing that the people of the region depend on it.

Palestine will remain an Arab cause because it affects all of us living in the made-to-fragment Sykes-Picot entities. The liberation of Palestine and its people is the liberation of the Arab nation, and the first step towards the defragmentation of its social fabric, thereby allowing it to become a united nation capable of developing sustainable social, economic, and political organizations, and securing safety and prosperity for all the remaining minorities in the region on its own terms, without the Western dictations that have plagued the Arab world for far too long now.

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Contemporary Zionism pursues its assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

28 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Niloufer Bhagwat 

The Partition of Palestine to establish a Zionist Military Base in the Arab world; the Partition of Korea and the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent are an extension of the same strategy to set back National Liberation Movements in these regions.

Contemporary Zionism pursues it assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

To read Part I, click here. (Wrong Link)

The Zionist Israeli colonial-settler, apartheid, military and Intelligence project, was part of the new strategy for control of resource-rich regions of the world, implemented through British, American, and European policy, even as National Liberation Movements in Asia, Africa, and in the Arab world began freeing their countries from British, French and European colonial rule. The establishment of a Zionist military outpost in the Middle East to control adjacent regions was part of the new strategy for continuing colonial exploitation and occupation of several parts of the world by erstwhile colonial powers in collaboration with the United States, by partitioning countries they had earlier colonized, before their withdrawal, to establish proxy governments in various regions of the world, a different strategy to direct colonial rule. At the same time, the Indian Subcontinent was partitioned by the British collaborating with the pro-British comprador classes of different religious groups in India: Muslim, and Hindu, and a new country Pakistan created from this partition, another British project to establish theocratic states, immediately integrated into an Anglo-American Military pact against the Arab world, West Asia, the former USSR, and India. General Zia Ul Haq, then a brigadier in the Pakistan Army (later military dictator and President of Pakistan after a military coup) led a military expedition of Pakistan in 1970 to the Kingdom of Jordan allied with Britain, during what was known as ‘Black September’, to put down by military force the ‘Palestinian uprising’ in the West Bank of Palestine, leading to a massacre of Palestinians. In the Far East, Korea was partitioned by the United States, after the Korean war during which US forces used bio-weapons against the Korean people and its allies the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army, all cities of North Korea were destroyed. Thereafter a proxy government of the United States was placed in power in South Korea, a colonial adjunct of the United States in the region, and a US military base to dominate and control the Far East, apart from the US military bases in Japan, which exist till date, including for stationing of nuclear weapons platforms of the United States.

The latest example of the establishment of a US military base and colonization of a country in East Europe is Ukraine, after Victoria Nuland, then-Assistant Secretary of State under the administration of President Obama (presently Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs), led the United States ‘Maidan’ coup of 2014 in Ukraine, which was another Anglo-American- Zionist and NATO project to control the resources of the region, to destroy both Ukraine and the Russian Federation and economically setback Europe, by deliberately inciting war on Europe’s Eastern periphery by initiating genocidal attacks on Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s predominantly Russian population, and attempting to destroy their language and culture and encouraging Ukraine and concerned European governments to renege on the Minsk Agreement signed with Russia. Thereafter an all-out economic war was declared on the Russian Federation, with sanctions imposed on Russia’s oil and gas resources, on Russian shipping, banking, and all its financial institution, to financially strangulate the Russian Federation, to control Russia’s trade in energy resources, in food and other commodities; the key to control several economies, the whole of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America; and if necessary expand this into a Third World War for the Imperialist restructuring of the world, as earlier by the Second World War. Zionism is a global Imperial Military project integrated with Anglo-American Imperialism and NATO’s wars of aggression and internal subversion in Palestine, in the Arab world,  in Iran, and worldwide, including in Ukraine.

The second reason for the failure by Jurists with exceptions, to examine the real nature of Zionism and the Zionist project of “Israel”, was the touching faith of many jurists in the United Nations and its resolutions, including of the Security Council and General Assembly and other organizations, instead of an objective and critical approach to resolutions and decisions of all UN bodies and instrumentalities. No institution national or international can be above scrutiny or is infallible. This approach led to the flawed academic tendency to accept decisions of all United Nations organizations as ‘gospel’ or ‘divine’ truth. Consequently, there was an ideological disinclination to examine the validity of the United Nations Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 which led to the establishment of the Zionist entity of “Israel” in 1948, controlled by the financial and banking elite of the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist world, in their own interests. The 1947 Partition of Palestine Resolution was a violation of International Law. Palestinian territory was forcibly seized from the people of Palestine by Jewish European settlers, facilitated through the instrumentality of the British Mandate over Palestine, in reality, British colonial occupation. The Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 was a violation of the right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian Arab people and a violation of General Assembly Resolutions on National Liberation Movements and anti-Colonial struggles of the people of Asia, Africa and South America among other regions. From the legal and political perspective, there was no basis for the 1947 Partition Resolution. The British Mandate over Palestine was ending and in accordance with International Law and De-colonization, it was necessary for Palestine to revert to the political control of the Indigenous Arab people of Palestine, subjugated by British occupation and colonial rule. For the United Nations to give legitimacy to the European Zionist Jewish Settler project, was a decision promoting European-settler colonization in Palestine, in violation of declared International Law on De-colonization and National Self-Determination, and to repeat in Palestine, what had taken place in past centuries in the United States of America, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, in South West Africa, in South America, among other regions of the world; where ‘neo-Europes’ and European civilization were forcibly transplanted into alien soil, to perpetuate European occupation and colonization and the seizure of land and resources of vast continents exterminating the Indigenous people in a colonial holocaust not of 6 million, but of hundreds of millions worldwide including in India and China, with no reparation till date.

The United Nations Charter is an International Treaty. The United Nations was not established as per its declared objectives to perpetuate a Zionist European Jewish Colonial-Settler and a ‘Racist and Apartheid’ Israeli Regime, massacring Palestinians, and waging a continuous war both on the people of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza, and other Palestinian territories occupied by “Israel”, and expansionist wars of aggression on its Arab neighbors, to achieve the Zionist objective of dominating the region and seizing all resources, including land and water reservoirs of Palestine and river waters of neighboring states of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, including in the Syrian Golan Heights, the Jordan river and Sea of Galilee; with no other justification than the Zionist self-propagated Racist theory of a superior or ‘Chosen People ’, causing widespread ecological devastation from the overuse of waters of the region. “Israel’s” policy is a continuous project for militarization and weaponization of the region against Palestinians, all “Israel’s” neighbors, and beyond against other countries in the wider region and adjacent continents; and includes a covert nuclear weapons program, while destroying peaceful nuclear energy projects of neighboring Arab states of Iraq and Syria; threatening the Iranian Nuclear Energy program, assassinating Iranian scientists, generals and military officers in Iran and in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, that is in countries who have military co-operation agreements with Iran. “Israel” has stealthily infected Iranian facilities with the ‘Stuxnet Virus’ or computer worm to disrupt operations, and resisted all proposals for a ‘Nuclear –Free Zone’ for this entire region including for “Israel”. In a new Quad has been established for the Middle East, of the USA, India, “Israel” and the UAE, a so-called “Indo-Abrahamic” Bloc similar to the Quad of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ a strategic alliance of the US, Japan, India and Australia to counter China which is unlikely to be welcomed by the Arab street, which sees such an alliance which includes the United States and “Israel”, as a threat to the military and economic sovereignty of the Arab world and its energy resources, as this West Asia Quad in its statement refers to focus on joint investments in the region, in” water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security, etc. directly related to economic sovereignty of governments and the people of the region . President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Yair Lapid of “Israel” also signed a joint declaration on the state of the ‘strategic partnership’ between the two countries, which is in fact a military and strategic pact targeting Iran, purportedly to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In reality, there is a military pact to threaten Iran as a possible prelude to incite a wider war in the region like in Ukraine in furtherance of NATO economic and military hegemony against the Multi-polar world order emerging.

The ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, the US-UK led Coalition’s repeated wars of aggression on Iraq, to which Ukraine contributed a military contingent as part of the coalition after the invasion of 2003; the US and NATO-led ISIS/Daesh/Jabhat Al-Nusra and their front organizations’ attacks in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon; the successive Israeli wars of aggression on Syria and Lebanon, and earlier on Jordan and Egypt; Israeli military advisers directing and participating in the war of aggression waged on Yemen are all the direct consequence of the powerful Zionist and Israeli lobbies of the United States, UK, France, among other NATO countries, controlling resources of the region, assisting in the expansionist military objectives of the state of “Israel”, the military and intelligence outpost of NATO.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov : Member countries of the African Union

July 29, 2022

Editorial Comment: Mr Lavrov’s visits to Arab states, the Arab League, and African states can only be described as a stunning victory and a complete triumph for diplomacy. A short overview is included in the second part of this Operation Z situation report:
All of the various transcripts can be read at the MFA site:
Short comments and summaries can be found on the MFA Telegram Channel:

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to the questions during a meeting with permanent representatives of the member countries of the African Union and the diplomatic corps, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Representatives of the media,

Thank you very much for coming here at our invitation. I believed that being in Addis Ababa, it is absolutely important to meet with the African Union members, like I did during all my previous visits. We could not do this at the headquarters for, as far as I understand, scheduling reasons. And I’m glad that you’ve accepted our invitation to come here to the Russian Embassy to discuss issues which are on the top of international agenda.

Many of our Western colleagues try to send the message that the key, if not the only, problem in international relations is the situation around Ukraine. I tend to disagree with such an assertion and during my visit here and  in my previous encounters with my foreign colleagues, I sense a broad understanding that the issue is much more complex and complicated.

What we witness now, especially as the West launches an unprecedented campaign of sanctions, accusations, threats, vis-à-vis Russia and anybody who dares to support Russia or even not to condemn Russia. This campaign indicates that we are living through a very important historical period, a period where we will all be deciding what kind of universe we are going to have and to leave for our children and grandchildren. The universe which is based on the United Nations Charter, which says that the United Nations is founded on the principle of sovereign equality of states, or we will have the world where the right of force, the right of the strongest dominates.

Actually, what it is all about can be described on the following example. Is it our choice to have the world where we have the so-called collective West, totally subordinated to the United States and feeling free, feeling that it has the right to decide when and how to promote its own interests without following the international law, without any respect to the sovereign equality of states?

When our American colleagues felt in the past that there was a threat to their interests, tens of thousands kilometers from the American coast, be it Yugoslavia in 1999, be it Iraq in 2003, be it Libya in 2011, and many other occasions, without any hesitation, without explaining anything to anybody, very often on false pretexts, they just started military operations levelling cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, like it happened in Iraq in the city of Mosul which was literally levelled. The same happened to Raqqa in Syria, where dozens and hundreds of corpses have been lying for weeks unattended and I don’t recall the progressive civilized community raising any big noise about that situation.

When the Russian Federation, not just overnight, but for the last ten long years has been drawing the attention of the United States and its allies to the unacceptable policy which they have been promoting on Ukraine, building Ukraine as a stronghold to contain Russia, pumping more and more modern arms in Ukraine, planning to build naval and military bases in that country and encouraging in all possible ways Russophobic policies of its leaders; when in 2014 we categorically protested to the West that in spite of its guarantees, the opposition in Ukraine staged a bloody coup and when they came to power, the first thing they did was to demand to cancel the status of the Russian language which has been the historical language of Ukraine from the very beginning. They also demanded the Russians to get out of Crimea. They sent armed groups to storm the Parliament of Crimea and then the eastern part of Ukraine protested against the coup.

The putchists called them separatists, terrorists and started a full-fledged military operation against them. And the West as I’ve said, which had guaranteed only a few days before that – guaranteed a peace deal between the former president and the opposition, the deal which provided for creation of a government of national unity and early elections, – this deal was disrupted overnight and the opposition bragged that they created the government of the winners.

See the difference: the government of national unity and the government of the winners. This was an invitation for the civil war because the opposition called part of its own citizens “losers” while the opposition became “winners”.

So when this all started we managed, together with some other countries, to stop it in February 2015 – Minsk Agreements were signed – keeping Ukraine one-piece.

The eastern territories of Ukraine that originally after the coup declared independence were persuaded not to insist on independence and to agree to stay inside Ukraine by these Minsk Agreements, provided they are given a special status. First of all, the right to use the Russian language.

This was endorsed by the Security Council and this was systemically and totally ignored and sabotaged by the Kiev regime with the encouragement of the West.

There was no direct dialogue between Kiev and those territories in spite of the fact that this was directly demanded from the Ukrainian regime by the Security Council.

And few weeks ago the former President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko who signed the Minsk Agreements, proudly stated to the media that “When I was signing it, I never intended to implement it. We just needed more time to get more weapons from the West in order to enable us to resolve the problem of Ukrainian East by the use of force.” Very honestly.

But this is totally neglected by the West. So we have been knocking on the door of our Western colleagues at least since 2013, telling them that this is absolutely a red line when you create a direct threat to the Russian Federation just on our borders. When you create a Russophobic state, which during all these years, managed to pass series of laws, prohibiting – physically, literally, – the use of Russian language in education, in culture, in media, and even in day-to-day life.

And at the same time, legislation was passed to legalize neo-Nazi theories and practices. Neo-Nazi battalions with swastikas and insignias of Waffen-SS, have been mushrooming in Ukraine and becoming the cornerstone of the Ukrainian Army.

It’s a very radicalized country. They glorify the collaborators of Hitler condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal and all this is being done with silent encouragement by the United States and the European Union. And the process which I’ve described was accompanied by the Western attempts, not attempts – policy – to pull Ukraine into NATO.

Dozens of military exercises of NATO with Ukraine were held on Ukrainian territory with an obvious anti-Russian dimension. The efforts of Russia during all these years – it was not just, you know, we say today that this is a threat and excuse us, but we need to remove this threat. It has been happening for at least ten years.

When we’ve told our Western colleagues, “Guys, why are you pulling Ukraine to NATO? You know that this is a hostile organization vis-a-vis Russia, they were telling us, ‘Don’t worry, it will not be detrimental to your security.’”

Russia, as any other self-respectful country has the right to determine itself what is good for its security and what is not. In that case, NATO members led by the United States, opted to decide for us what is good for the Russian Federation.

We reminded them that many years ago in 2010, they all signed up a declaration saying that the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will be based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, which means that any country can choose alliances, but no country has the right in choosing alliances to increase its security at the expense of the security of other countries. And that no single organization in Europe can pretend to dominate the security space.

NATO is doing exactly this. And NATO, of course, is strengthening the security of its own at the expense of the security of the Russian Federation, because the borders of NATO have been moved just to the borders of Russia.

So we told them, “Guys, political commitments to which your presidents and prime ministers put the signatures don’t work. Let’s make this principle that the security is indivisible and must be equal for all, let’s make it legally binding.”

And we suggested to them respective treaties several times. First, back in 2009 and the last attempt was in December of 2021. And they told us, “Look gentlemen, first there would be no legally binding security guarantees except for NATO members. And second, as regards Ukraine, the relations between NATO and Ukraine are none of your business.” And that was the end of it.

And parallel with this absolute rejection of constructive efforts we have been undertaking for many, many years, parallel to this the Ukrainians, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, started to accumulate huge military force on the line of contact with the eastern part of the country where the two republics have been under siege, basically. They intensified radically the shelling and bombing of those territories.

When we understood that there would be no agreement on security guarantees in Europe which would be equal, when we understood that there would be no implementation of the Minsk Agreements because the Ukrainian leadership publicly renounced this, and when we understood that the only way to save the people in the east of Ukraine was to recognize these two republics, we did so.

We signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance with them and at their request, we are now exercising a special military operation aimed at saving lives of the citizens of the Donbass and removing any possibility for Ukrainian territory to be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.

I am sure that you have been following the events. I know that the Western media presents the situation in a totally distorted manner. If only to mention the so-called food crisis, as if nothing was of concern before February this year.

If you read the reports of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, you will refresh your memory and establish the fact that the problems in the world food market started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in an attempt to fight this virus and the pandemic consequences the US, the EU and Japan have made an emission for eight trillion dollars’ worth without any economic substantiation, and they use this empty money to buy food and all other goods which they believe would be necessary in case pandemic takes long and there will be closure of countries.

Then there were, of course, increases, long ago, of the price of fertilizers because of the reckless policy of the Western countries on the so-called Green Transition, because the energy supplies, the classical energy resources were more or less discriminated and all this has brought the price of fertilizers high, which of course affected the price of food, and so on and so forth. And then there were not very conducive climate conditions for a couple of years.

And yes, the situation in Ukraine did affect, additionally, negatively affected food markets. But not because of the Russian special operation, rather due to the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions, undermining the availability of the food on the markets.

When we explain this to them, they say, “Food and fertilizers are not covered by sanctions”. Yes, but you know, half-truth is worse than a lie. And the truth is that the list of sanctions does not contain an item saying “food”, but what it does contain is prohibition for the Russian ships to call to the ports in the Mediterranean, prohibition for the foreign ships to call on the Russian ports, to pick up food and other cargo, prohibition to insure the Russian ships, because of which insurance prices quadrupled overnight. And of course, prohibition for the main Russian bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, which has always served the payments for Russian food exports – it was listed in the European Union sanctions.

So the latest attempt by our Turkish friends and the Secretary General of the United Nations resulted in a deal between Russia and the United Nations, whereby Secretary General Guterres committed himself to press the Western countries to lift those restrictions, which I just quoted. We’ll see whether he can succeed.

And the same deal as you know, provided for Ukraine an obligation to demine its coastal line for the ships which have been locked there, I think 70 ships from 16 countries since February, to allow them out of the Ukrainian territorial waters, after which Turkish and Russian fleet will ensure their safe travel to the straits and then to the Mediterranean.

So those were the agreements, which could have been announced long, long ago, if not for the Western stubbornness in insisting that they are always right, and all those who don’t agree with them, of course, are always wrong.

A similar situation is taking place with the energy markets. Many years ago, before February this year, the West started discriminating Russian energy projects. First, the project called Nord Stream 1 was limited by 50% of its capacity for no good reason at all. Europe deprived itself of 50% of Russian cheap, accessible gas.

Then Nord Stream 2 was blocked by absolutely illegal action when the legal committee of the European Union ruled that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was built and financed and invested, fully aligned with the existing European norms.

But after that, the European Commission changed the rules retrospectively and applied the new rules to the investment which took place legally several years ago.

So Nord Stream 2 is also not available. Poland, several months ago, stopped taking gas from a direct pipeline from Russia. Ukraine stopped one of the two transit lines through its territory from Russia. And there was some hassle with that turbine which went for maintenance to Canada, then Canada didn’t want to bring it back.

I listed five or six factors which immediately negatively affected gas supplies to Europe volume-wise. And, of course, the less you buy from Russia through a pipeline, which is a price established for long-term, the more expensive prices on the spot.

It reached yesterday, I think, $2,200 for a thousand cubic meters. So the attempts to blame us for everything which goes wrong is an attempt with not very clean purposes and intentions.

What is my point? My point is that it’s a period of history where we will have to choose either to go down the current, which the West tries to move, saying that the world must be run not by international law, but by the rules.

They coined an expression “rules-based world order”. And if you analyze the behavior of our Western colleagues in the international arena, you will understand that these rules differ from case to case. There is no single criteria. There is no single principle, except one. If I want something, you have to obey. If you don’t obey, you would be punished.

This is the picture for the future offered to us by the rules-based world order promoted by the West. Basically, this is the unipolar world where the United States, which subordinated to its own will everybody else in the European Union and allies in Asia… This is the offer. Not even an offer, it is an ultimatum actually.

The alternative to this, and I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of the world countries do not want to live as if the colonial times came back, that the vast majority of the states want to be independent, want to rely on their own tradition, to rely on their own history, to rely on their old friends, don’t want to betray their old friends.

And this is basically evident from the fact that except two or three developing countries, no one else in Africa, Asia or Latin America joined the illegal American and European sanctions.

And back to the United Nations Charter. I believe, when we speak about more just, more democratic world order, we don’t need to invent anything. Once again, I quote the Charter which says that the United Nations is based on the principle of sovereign equality of states.

And to recognize that each state is independent, each state has the right to determine how it wants to live, what kind of economic, social, political system it wants to choose on the basis of the will of its people. And I have no slightest doubt that any normal state wants to be like this. Nobody wants to have enemies. This is also an absolute truth. Neither Russia nor any other country present in this hall – I have no doubt.

But if countries, like we witness now the behavior of the West, if they do want to have enemies, as they publicly declared in their doctrines, in the decisions of the latest NATO summit in Madrid – they do want enemies, they appoint enemies, they appoint the order in which they handle these enemies. Now Russia is the first, China is earmarked as the existential challenge for the long term. And all this manifests in renewed thinking about how the world economy and the world system operates.

If the US and the European Union – under the demand of the US – decided to freeze the Russian reserves – and now they seriously start a legal process to prepare the basis to confiscate the Russian money – who knows… If they become irritated by somebody else tomorrow or the day after, they might do the same.

In other words, the reliance on dollar as the instrument supporting the world economy is not very promising, frankly speaking. And it is not by incident that more and more countries are shifting to using alternative currencies, shifting to use national currencies more and more, and this process will be gaining momentum.

This is not to say that we are suggesting some kind of revolution against the dollar, against the United States – this is to state the obvious: the West created a system which was based on certain principles – free market, fair competition, sanctity of private property, presumption of innocence, and something else. All these principles have been thrown down the drain when they needed to do what they believe is to punish Russia.

And I don’t have the slightest doubt that, if need be, they will not hesitate to do the same in relation to any other country which would irritate them one way or another.

I mentioned China as the next target. It’s a very interesting example of how the Americans consider fair competition in practice. Actually, China developed into the number one world economy – everybody recognizes this – and China did so, China achieved those results, working and acting on the basis of the rules established by the West. The IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the rules to settle disputes, competition and the stuff. China accepted those rules in developing its own economy and China defeated the West, economically and trade-wise, investment-wise, on its own turf, on the basis of the rules invented by the West.

And what happened next? Already a couple of years ago, the Secretary of Treasury of the United States and some other officials started saying, “We need to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions, we need to reform the WTO and we need to organize this reform between the US and Europe not to allow anybody else to participate in developing new rules.”

Guys, it is absolutely obvious, how they want this world to be operated. And I believe, as long as it is not too late, we would be ready to talk to our Western friends when they come back to their senses about how they think they should live together with all of us in the future. But this conversation can only be made on full equality, with full respect to the legitimate interests of all of us.

If I took too long of your time, I apologize. And I understand there might be a couple of questions, right?

Question: Your Excellency, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation,

On behalf of the people of South Sudan, the Government and on my own behalf, I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia for inviting me and my delegation here.

We are grateful that our two countries, the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Sudan enjoy cordial bilateral relations, dating back to the day of our declaration of independence, where the Russian people and their Government were among those who recognized our statehood on July 9, 2011. Since then Your Excellency, the people and the governments of two countries have stood with the people and the Government of South Sudan in many ways.

The people of South Sudan wish to express their gratitude for your immense support in the UNSC, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and other activities where you supported us. First of all, as you explained, Your Excellency, you outlined your view on sanctions. Now we know what’s really going on.

On the current political situation in my country I would like to inform Your Excellency the Minister that the signed revitalized peace agreement of 2018 is holding despite the challenges that you have mentioned. These include numerous sanctions by Western countries and their allies, and an arms embargo. Other factors of concern are natural disasters, such as heavy rains…

Sergey Lavrov: I apologize, can you pass on this text? Because it would be useful and more polite to the others. Ok? Please, pass it. Thank you!

Just one remark. We are against those sanctions which are intended to punish people. And don’t forget that the initiators of these sanctions against you are exactly the same countries who wanted to create South Sudan out of Sudan.

Question: Thank you very much for giving a very detailed and covering all important aspects in your briefing. A short question: How the hegemony of dollar can be controlled by international community because right now the countries like Pakistan and many developing countries are suffering from huge debt that continues to grow. The problem is getting worse. I would like you to clarify the situation.

Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert in monetary affairs. What I said was it’s an obvious feeling by many countries that the dollar is not reliable, because the capricious behavior could be aimed at anyone in the future.

I know that you can feel this on yourself, if you compare the situation of 20-30 years ago and now. So, it’s life. It’s life. And nobody wants to go to war because of the dollar and I believe this is crazy.  But people want to have some insurance as regards the reliability of their economic and trade relations with their partners. And there are examples, including the use of national currencies, including barter, including clearing mechanisms. Some might say this is going back to the past instruments of conducting trade. But there would be digital currencies, I don’t have the slightest doubt, which are already being developed in China, for example, in Venezuela, in Iran.

We are thinking about this as well. It’s the beginning of a process. Now we have accumulated the elements of the problem and we know that it must be addressed.

Question: With an approach of winter during which gas importations increase. How does Russia going to export its gas and circumvent the sanctions imposed? 15 African countries import more than 50% of their grain from Russia. The situation also affected the exports from African countries to Russia. How does Russia intend to manage trade relations with Africa?

Sergey Lavrov: I think I addressed both issues in my remarks. I hope you listened to me. Antonio Guterres personally promised to make sure that the US and EU remove any obstacles to the export of Russian grain. If you add your noble voice to his efforts, I think it would be useful.

And on gas prices – I also explained how Europe systemically, during the last almost ten years, was creating barriers on the way of bringing to European countries cheap and accessible Russian gas.

I listed five or six specific decisions which were cutting more and more of Russian exports, vacating the room in Europe for much more expensive LNG from the United States, just like, you know, the US insists that Europe sends all its weapons to Ukraine, vacating the arms market in Europe for the import of American weapons. It’s “nothing personal, it’s business.”

As regards your country (Algeria), the Europeans are now thinking of alternative sources of supply. They have suffocated themselves with their own hands the pipeline routes from Russia. Now they are  looking for alternatives. And I know that the Mediterranean, including Algeria, is one of those sources.

They would be asking you to help, and it’s up to your companies to decide, it’s up to your government to decide.

In our case, according to our experiences that when we had long-term contracts with Europe, these long-term contracts protected our interests. But, a few years ago, Europe started cutting long-term contracts saying, “Let’s shift to the spot market”. And the spot market does not guarantee that you will have a long-term investment justified.

So, what we see now is not a scientific, not a responsible approach to the energy markets – it’s a hectic search for something which can save you this winter, with the green agenda shelved for the time being.

The coal is coming back, polluting the atmosphere – it’s a mess, if you take a look at the energy and environment policy that Europe is promoting. I am sorry to say this. We are not getting any happiness or joy from what Europe is experiencing, but they have been doing this to themselves for quite some time already.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize because the minister – my colleague from Ethiopia – is   waiting for me for the next event. Once again I want to thank you whole-heartedly for accepting our invitation. I hope it was not a waste of time. I tried to be as frank as I can, and we would be ready to promote dialogue with the African Union.

Unfortunately, we could not meet at the headquarters. And we would be ready for a dialogue on all these and any other issues of interest and of importance with you bilaterally. With all of you we have good relations and channels of communication.

I wish you all the best and keep healthy. Thank you very much.

Shaaban: Syria Adherent to the Unity of the Arab Stance

MAY 16, 2022


Damascus, SANA

Special Adviser at the Presidency of the Republic, Buthaina Shaaban, stressed the importance of strengthening and developing Syrian-Mauritanian relations and activating the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two brotherly countries.

During her meeting with Chairman of the Syro-Mauritanian Parliamentary Friendship Committee Mustafa Aldah Souhaib and the accompanying delegation and the head and members of the Syro-Mauritanian Brotherhood Committee in the People’s Assembly of Syria earlier today, Dr. Shaaban hailed the honorable Mauritanian popular and official attitude towards the terrorist war that Syria was subject to during the past years despite pressures exerted and temptations presented what gives hope for the revival of Arab Nation.
Shaaban noted that Syria is committed to the Arab identity and adherent to the unity of Arab stance and have been always ready to cooperate with any Arab country or party in order to achieve the joint Arab solidarity.

Dr. Shaaban pointed out that the main goal of the war on Syria is to confiscate its independent decision, which it has known for decades, and to make it subservient to the West, when terrorism failed to undermine the Syrian state and Syrian armies, the of conspiring countries such as Turkey and the US moved to occupy parts of Syrian territory.

In his turn, Aldah Souhaib said that “Syria lives in the conscience of all the Mauritanian people though Mauritania is geographically distant from Syria, the mutual official and popular relations have always been at their best and at all levels”. Noting that all black propaganda campaign could not have change the view and attitude of the Mauritanian people towards the reality of the situation in Syria.

Souhaib and members of the delegation called for reformulating the concept of solidarity, Arab discourse and coordination between Arab countries and direct it to Arab youth to raise their awareness of the dangers that threaten the Arab nation and to unify the Arab attitude.

The head and members of the delegation affirmed that they came to Syria carrying a message of thanks and appreciation from the Mauritanian political, cultural and popular activities to Syria for its steadfastness and victories in the terrorist war waged against it.

For his part, the head of the Syrian-Mauritanian Brotherhood Committee in the People’s Assembly off Syria, Mohamed Bakhit, valued the support of the Mauritanian leadership and people, pointing out to the importance of exchanging parliamentary visits and experiences between the two brotherly countries.

Nisreen Othman / Amer Dawaa

From Korea to Libya: On the Future of Ukraine and NATO’s Neverending Wars

April 6, 2022

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances.


Much has been said and written about media bias and double standards in the West’s response to the Russia-Ukraine war, when compared with other wars and military conflicts across the world, especially in the Middle East and the Global South. Less obvious is how such hypocrisy is a reflection of a much larger phenomenon which governs the West’s relationship to war and conflict zones.

Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

On March 19, Iraq commemorated the 19th anniversary of the US invasion which killed, according to modest estimates, over a million Iraqis. The consequences of that war were equally devastating as it destabilized the entire Middle East region, leading to various civil and proxy wars. The Arab world is reeling under that horrific experience to this day.

Also, on March 19, the eleventh anniversary of the NATO war on Libya was commemorated and followed, five days later, by the 23rd anniversary of the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

None of these wars, starting with the NATO intervention in the Korean Peninsula in 1950, have stabilized any of the warring regions. Iraq is still as vulnerable to terrorism and outside military interventions and, in many ways, remains an occupied country. Libya is divided among various warring camps, and a return to civil war remains a real possibility.

Yet, enthusiasm for war remains high, as if over seventy years of failed military interventions have not taught us any meaningful lessons. Daily, news headlines tell us that the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain or some other western power have decided to ship a new kind of ‘lethal weapons‘ to Ukraine. Billions of dollars have already been allocated by Western countries to contribute to the war in Ukraine.

In contrast, very little has been done to offer platforms for diplomatic, non-violent solutions. A handful of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have offered mediation or insisted on a diplomatic solution to the war, arguing, as China’s foreign ministry reiterated on March 18, that “all sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.”

Though the violation of the sovereignty of any country is illegal under international law, and is a stark violation of the United Nations Charter, this does not mean that the only solution to violence is counter-violence. This cannot be truer in the case of Russia and Ukraine, as a state of civil war has existed in Eastern Ukraine for eight years, harvesting thousands of lives and depriving whole communities from any sense of peace or security. NATO’s weapons cannot possibly address the root causes of this communal struggle. On the contrary, they can only fuel it further.

If more weapons were the answer, the conflict would have been resolved years ago. According to the BBC, the US has already allocated $2.7bn to Ukraine over the last eight years, long before the current war. This massive arsenal included “anti-tank and anti-armor weapons … US-made sniper (rifles), ammunition and accessories.”

The speed with which additional military aid has poured into Ukraine following the Russian military operations on February 24 is unprecedented in modern history. This raises not only political or legal questions, but moral questions as well – the eagerness to fund war and the lack of enthusiasm to help countries rebuild.

After 21 years of US war and invasion of Afghanistan, resulting in a humanitarian and refugee crisis, Kabul is now largely left on its own. Last September, the UN refugee agency warned that “a major humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan”, yet nothing has been done to address this ‘looming’ crisis, which has greatly worsened since then.

The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Afghani refugees are rarely welcomed in Europe. The same is true for refugees coming from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali and other conflicts that directly or indirectly involved NATO. This hypocrisy is accentuated when we consider international initiatives that aim to support war refugees, or rebuild the economies of war-torn nations.

Compare the lack of enthusiasm in supporting war-torn nations with the West’s unparalleled euphoria in providing weapons to Ukraine. Sadly, it will not be long before the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have left their country in recent weeks become a burden on Europe, thus subjected to the same kind of mainstream criticism and far-right attacks.

While it is true that the West’s attitude towards Ukraine is different from its attitude towards victims of western interventions, one has to be careful before supposing that the ‘privileged’ Ukrainains will ultimately be better off than the victims of war throughout the Middle East. As the war drags on, Ukraine will continue to suffer, either the direct impact of the war or the collective trauma that will surely follow. The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances. Though military invasions must be wholly rejected, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, turning Ukraine into another convenient zone of perpetual geopolitical struggle between NATO and Russia is not the answer.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.



Would Syria Become the Main Gate for All Arabs?

March 26 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – Last Friday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and met the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed [MBZ] Al Nhayan and the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

In terms of timing, Assad’s visit to an Arab country is the first since the crisis erupted in Syria11 years ago.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed wished that “this visit would be the beginning of peace and stability for Syria and the entire region.”

Moreover, the two leaders discussed “issues of common concern”, such as Syria’s territorial integrity and the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the country.

The Assad-Al Maktoum meeting “dealt with the overall relations between the two countries and the prospects for expanding the circle of bilateral cooperation, especially at the economic, investment and commercial levels.”

MBZ, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince of and deputy commander-in-chief of the Emirati Armed Forces – summed up the Syrian President’s visit as “a good, peaceful and stable start for Syria and the entire region.”

Over the years, the UAE’s words had been put into action; starting with the reopening of its embassy in Damascus in December 2018, in the most significant Arab overture toward the Syrian government. However, relations remained cold.

Last fall, the Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs flew to Damascus for a meeting with Assad, the first visit by the country’s top diplomat since 2011. The United States, a close ally of the UAE, criticized the visit at the time, arguing that the US would not support any thawing in relations with the Assad government.

The visit also implies a remarkable dimension, namely that it coincides with the anniversary of the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in mid-March 2011, in an implicit message at this time that Syria is paving the way to consider solutions to its crisis, and that Assad is quite aware that the visit to the UAE will be a milestone in the road to resolving it.

Syria was expelled before from the 22-member Arab League and boycotted by its neighbors after the conflict broke out 11 years ago.

According to the aforementioned, the visit signals a clear message that some countries in the Arab World are willing to re-engage with Syria as several countries are reviving ties with the Syrian government, including Jordan and Lebanon.

US stance regarding Asaad’s visit

When asked about Assad’s UAE visit, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that Washington was “profoundly disappointed and troubled by this apparent attempt to legitimize Bashar al-Assad, who remains responsible and accountable for the death and suffering of countless Syrians, the displacement of more than half of the pre-war Syrian population, and the arbitrary detention and disappearance of over 150,000 Syrian men, women and children.”

Price downplayed the US-led wars over the past 20 years, which resulted in the death of millions of people and the devastation of several countries.

Long ago Syria has been called the heart of Arabism. At present, amid the new political developments taking place between Syria and the UAE, Damascus might become the main gate for all the Arab countries. This step was first of its kind in terms of diplomatic relations between countries of the Axis of Resistance and the so-called neutral countries, who are normalizing ties with the Zionist entity.

Bearing in mind the crisis it has been confronting since 2011, Syria must definitely be granted the Medal of Honor for standing in the forefront of countries refusing to normalize relations with the “Israeli” regime. And the coming days will prove Syria’s real position in the Arab World.


Four signs that a US-Gulf ‘divorce’ is in the making

The rapid-fire ‘messages’ directed at Washington from old Persian Gulf allies are brutal, and strongly suggest that the days of US hegemony are done

March 20 2022

In all the geopolitical salvos issued left and right last week, nothing was less expected than the visit of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to the UAE. It is a strong sign of the Persian Gulf’s dissatisfaction with its US ally.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Abdel Bari Atwan

If any good has come out of the Ukraine war for the Arab world, it is the diminished status and influence of the US in West Asia. Washington is losing many of its traditional allies in the region, especially in the Persian Gulf, and this trend looks like it will accelerate.

Four recent developments illustrate this.

First, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s visit to the UAE on Friday. The warm welcome laid on for him by its leaders was a slap in the face of the US administration, its strongly stated objections to the visit, and its sanctions aimed at de-legitimizing the Syrian government.

Second, the growing defiance of US hegemony by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, OPEC’s two largest oil producers. Most notable was their rejection of US President Joe Biden’s pleas to increase oil production in order to push down prices and provide extra supplies to enable western sanctions of Russian oil and gas imports.

Third, the failure of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit – on Washington’s behalf – to Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, where he conveyed veiled threats to the two countries should they fail to toe the western line on Ukraine, join in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, or break their oil production agreements with it.

Fourth, Saudi Arabia’s invitation to China’s President Xi Jinping for an official visit and Riyadh’s openness to pricing its oil sales to Beijing in yuan. This signals that the kingdom and possibly other Gulf states may be willing to join the new global financial system Russia and China are developing as an alternative to the western one.

Of the four developments, the reception accorded to President Assad in Abu Dhabi and Dubai was the clearest sign of this Gulf rebellion against the US and its domination. The visit didn’t need to take place now; that it did shows more about the mood in the Gulf centers of power than anything else.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have reportedly declined to receive US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is keen to follow up Johnson’s visit to try to succeed where he failed.

Instead, in a snub seen around the world, the UAE’s foreign minister Sheikh Ahmad Bin Zayed visited Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. The public show of bonhomie they displayed was bound to rub salt into the American wound.

The timing of Assad’s trip – on the 11th anniversary of the start of the US-led war on Syria aimed at toppling its government, and three weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and the UAE’s indifference to the angry US reaction, are further signs of the start of divorce proceedings with an abusive partner that fleeces and cheats on its allies.

Assad’s visit to the UAE provided important gains for both countries and their leaders. It broke Syria’s official isolation in the Arab world and heralded the breaking of the US embargo imposed on the country. This caps a broader process of Arab ‘normalization’ which is set to see Damascus regain its membership of the Arab League and role in collective Arab decision making, and take part in the Arab summit to be held in Algiers in November.

This bold step also benefits the UAE in many ways. It helps offset the hugely negative impact on its image that resulted from its signing of the so-called Abraham Accords and enthusiastic courtship of the Israeli enemy.

Building bridges of trust and cooperation with the Axis of Resistance via Syria, Iran’s closest ally, could also help the UAE and Saudi Arabia find ways out of their quagmire in Yemen. It may be no coincidence that Riyadh is proposing to host an all-party Yemeni dialogue and has officially invited the Houthi Ansarullah movement to take part.

In short, what we are seeing today are manifestations of a revolt against US hegemony in the Arab world by the axis of Arab ‘moderation’ led by the Egyptian-Emirati-Saudi trio. It is open for other Gulf and Arab states such as Iraq, Algeria, and Sudan to join should they wish. This new axis may take clearer shape at the Algiers summit in the fall.

The process of Arab normalization with Israel is bound to slow down. It is the most grievous error that normalizing countries – old and new – could have made, and should be halted completely. But there is optimism in this regard, as turning against the US also implies turning against Israel.

Meanwhile, Assad’s presidential plane, which over the past decade has only flown to Moscow and Tehran, looks set to do a lot more traveling in the coming weeks and months. Its next destination after Abu Dhabi could be Riyadh or Cairo, despite the best efforts of the US to bar its way.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Normalization between Arabic countries and “Israel”: Proven record of failure

16 Feb 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem 

“Israel” knew that it would never settle in the Arab region unless it gets recognized by its people as a “normal state”.

Normalization Between Arabic Countries and “Israel”: Proven Record of Failure

An Advanced Outpost for Colonial Powers

“Israel” had been created in 1948 as an advanced outpost for the colonial-imperial powers keen on dominating the Middle East region and keeping it under control. That’s the plain fact proven at different stages in recent history. And since the announcement of “Israel” as a state on the land of Palestine, it acted exactly like that: a militarized compound disguising in a state’s attire! In 1956 “Israel” was called to service by the then-great Britain and France when they decided to attack Egypt in an attempt to prevent it from liberating itself and nationalizing its Suez Canal. “Israel” joined the evil plot willingly and attacked Egypt without any provocation, showing to its old colonial masters that their investment was paying off. Later, when the British Empire was doomed to demise, “Israel” moved on and joined the camp of the rising star, America, which inherited the old lion. From the sixties of the last century onwards, “Israel” took part in the US’ global efforts in combating national liberation movements, communist-socialist regimes, and people’s revolutions.

When “Israel” was announced in 1948, it was met with unanimous Arab rejection. All Arab nations, many of them still under British – French control, refused to recognize it. Absolutely no Arab felt “Israel” belonged to the region, not culturally nor politically. Nobody was ready to deal with it in any way. Arab People looked at it not as a neighbor but as a group of usurpers who took over Palestine by force and displaced its Arab brothers who became refugees. A solid barrier of rejection and contempt was surrounding “Israel” who stayed in the heart of the Arab region as a bastard state.      

That’s why the normalization of relations with Arabic countries has always been of utmost importance for “Israel”. Even the smallest gesture from anywhere in the Arab world was being warmly welcomed by Israelis if they sense it could create a narrow crack in the rejection wall. “Israel” knew that it would never settle in the Arab region unless it gets recognized by its people as a “normal state”. “Israel” needed recognition more than anything else. “Israel” knew that no matter how strong its army is or how long its occupation of Palestinian lands lasts, it’s Arab recognition that gives it legitimacy and long-term future.

Three Old Normalization Accords

Before the new wave of Arab normalization with “Israel” in 2020, there were three normalization agreements between “Israel” and the Arabs:

-Camp David peace treaty with Egypt (1979)

-Oslo peace agreement with Palestine Liberation Organization (1993)

-Wadi Araba peace treaty with Jordan (1994)

Decades of formal normalization on three fronts resulted in nothing! It is true that written recognition from Arab governments was obtained by “Israel”. However, that can hardly be the real goal that “Israel” was after.

Let’s elaborate:

Egypt and Jordan are both sovereign independent states who were having occupied territories under Israeli control. So they had duty to restitute their lands from “Israel”. That, restitution the occupied land, was the basis for their peace treaties with “Israel”. The governments of Egypt and Jordan presented the matter to their people like that: we have to sign a peace treaty, we have to recognize “Israel” because there is no other way to get our lands back. We, as responsible governments, have to do that, but you, as people, as individuals, as society, have the freedom to make your own decision whether to normalize or not! And it seemed that logic was accepted by most of the people who “excused” their governments and took their own different path.

After four decades of Egyptian normalization, and three decades of Jordan’s, there is no people-to-people relations, no social contacts established, no community initiatives between the sides. The public opinion in Egypt and Jordan is still very much against any dealings with the Israelis. Anyone who “dares” to announce friendly relations with Israelis will be socially isolated and abandoned, swiftly. Civil society, political parties, unions and associations, intellectuals, writers, artists, cinema and sports stars … etc. all refusing to have anything to do with “Israel”. Cultural and economic boycott. The relations between Egypt and Jordan from one side and “Israel” on the other, remain official and limited to political meetings and border security arrangements. This kind of “normalization” can hardly be satisfactory to the Zionists of “Israel”.

The PLO is another story. Palestine is still under Israeli occupation. It’s neither liberated nor independent. Yasser Arafat wanted to have a base at home from which he may continue the struggle towards independence, so he signed an “interim” agreement. The Oslo Accord was supposed to be just a starting point and that’s what made Arafat accept all the unfair and un-advantageous terms imposed by Israelis. Well, Arafat was wrong, and the Israelis turned the “interim” agreement into an ever-lasting one! There are many relations between the Palestinians under occupation and “Israel” but that is, in no way, considered as “normalization” between the peoples. Matters related to borders crossing, transport of goods, water and electricity … are merely living conditions and requirements.

The failure of the decades-long official normalization speaks volumes. “Israel” has not shown any real appreciation of Arab concerns and aspirations. In short, they wanted “peace and normalization” with Arabs as a token of surrender. Palestine land will have to remain under Israeli occupation and Palestinian refugees will have to remain away from home. 

Will the new normalizers have better luck?

In 2020 new Arab normalizers jumped in, under Trump’s patronage, and signed the so-called Abraham Accords (it is telling that the Biden administration keenly avoids the term “Abraham” and refers to the “normalization agreements” instead, intentionally ignoring the religious implications of the term). Unlike Egypt, Jordan and the PLO, the new Arab normalizers are very far away from “Israel”, thousands of miles away! Moreover, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have no “bilateral” or direct conflict with “Israel” and are therefore under no pressure to conclude any deal with “Israel” whatsoever.

The new normalizers were unable to use the “solving pressing problems” excuse to justify their rush towards “Israel” to their people (who were never consulted about the matter!). So they started talking about modernization, civilization and “peace in the region” and other similar broad ideas. They began a faked kind of “heart to heart” normalization that has an artificial element of passion and love towards “Israel” in it! Sudan in particular talked about improving the economy (lifting the US sanctions and getting World Bank loans) as an excuse.

The new wave of normalization will not succeed, not because the signing parties don’t want that, but because there is no real basis for success in these deals. “Israel” is still the same old Zionist entity that Arabs know very well, and Al-Quds still under occupation, Palestinians still deprived of their homeland and “Israel” is still posing a constant threat to Arab nations. Even history tells us that the economic benefits of normalization won’t work! If anybody has doubt about that, a mere look at Egypt’s and Jordan’s economic hardships – after decades of normalization- will be enough to prove that: NORMALIZATION WON’T WORK.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

التوقيت: المسار الإبراهيمي

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مفكرة عربية

أغسطس 9 2021

المصدر: الميادين نت

بثينة شعبان

مراجعة متأنية لتاريخنا العربي، وخاصة لتاريخ الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي، تُري أن العدو أحكم استخدام التوقيت بينما لم يحسن العرب ذلك.

لا شك أن الوقت هو هبة الله للإنسان، لأنّ الإنسان في النهاية هو بضعة أيام على هذه الأرض، ولكن إتقان التوقيت هو الذي يجعل هذا الوجود مفيداً أو متميزاً أو مثمراً.

بما أننا لا نستطيع أن نغير شيئاً في الأحداث التي مضت، يتوجب علينا الاستفادة منها لقراءة ما يحاك لنا اليوم

وقد عبّرت الأمثلة التي تطرحها شعوب مختلفة عن أهمية التوقيت؛ فالمثل الإنكليزي يقول “التوقيت هو الجوهر”، والمثل الأميركي يقول “التوقيت هو كل شيء”. وقد لاحظتُ من خلال متابعتي لأمور شتّى أن الإنسان يمكن أن يخسر رهانات هامة في الحياة نتيجة عدم اهتمامه بالتوقيت رغم توفر كافة المؤهلات والشروط التي تمكّنه من كسب الرهان فقط لو أحسن التوقيت.  

ولاحظتُ حيوية ومصيرية التوقيت وخصوصاً في الإعلام والسياسة؛ فحين تتناقل وكالات الأنباء خبراً تعتبره الخبر الأول؛ حينذاك يمكن لك أن تدلي بدلوك وأن تجد آذاناً صاغية لأنها متعطشة لسماع أي شيء يتعلق بهذا الخبر، ولكن إذا انتظرت لليوم الثاني لن تجد من يستقبل خبرك حتى وإن كان أكثر مصداقية وقيمة من كل ما قيل في اليوم الأول. وهذا ذاته ينطبق على السياسة والأعمال أيضاً.

إن مراجعة متأنية لتاريخنا العربي، وخاصة لتاريخ الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي، تُري أن العدو أحكم استخدام التوقيت بينما لم يحسن العرب ذلك، لأنهم لم يعملوا من منطلقات استراتيجية واضحة وكانوا في غالب الأحيان يعالجون ظواهر الأحداث بدلاً من مسبباتها الحقيقية.

وبما أننا لا نستطيع أن نغير شيئاً في الأحداث التي مضت، يتوجب علينا على الأقل الاستفادة منها لقراءة ما يحاك لنا اليوم قراءة معمقة وواعية، لكي نتعامل معها في الوقت المناسب وقبل فوات الأوان.

لقد صدّر الغرب لنا ومنذ القرن التاسع عشر مصطلح “ميثاق إبراهيم” الذي يجمع بين المؤمنين قبل أن يتحول في القرن العشرين إلى حقل دراسات مستقلة للديانات الإبراهيمية، وطبعاً المقصود فيها اليهودية والمسيحية والإسلام وقبل أن تصدر تفرعاته عن مؤسسات أهلية ثقافية وسياحية في الغرب تتحدث عن الأخوة الابراهيمية العابرة للديانات والشعوب والبلدان، إلى أن انطلقت في العام 2004 رسمياً في جامعة هارفارد “مبادرة مسار الحج الابراهيمي” بدعم من مشروع التفاوض الدولي في كلية الحقوق في جامعة هارفارد وبمشاركة عالمية لباحثين ورجال دين وأعمال وخبراء في السياحة البيئية وآخرين.

وهدف المبادرة هو افتتاح مسار سيراً على الأقدام يسلك مواقع ثقافية ودينية وسياحية يتتبع خطى النبي إبراهيم عليه السلام منذ أكثر من أربعة آلاف عام، ويبدأ المسار من مدينة أور العراقية مروراً بإيران وسوريا وصولاً إلى مدينة الخليل الفلسطينية حيث يعتقد أن قبر النبي إبراهيم الخليل هناك.

وبدأت منظمات أميركية أهلية وغربية تدعو إلى إحياء هذا المسار ثقافياً وسياحياً وروحياً وتتحدث عن فوائده الاقتصادية بينما ركز القادة الأميركان على استغلاله لأهداف أخرى؛ إذ حين أشرف الرئيس جيمي كارتر على اتفاق كامب ديفيد بين مصر والكيان الصهيوني قال في كلمته “دعونا نترك الحرب جانباً، دعونا الآن نكافئ كلّ أبناء إبراهيم المتعطشين إلى اتفاق سلام شامل في الشرق الأوسط، دعونا الآن نستمتع بتجربة أن نكون آدميين بالكامل وجيراناً بالكامل وحتى أخوة وأخوات”.

وفي عام 1993 حين أشرف الرئيس بيل كلينتون على توقيع اتفاق أوسلو بين إسحق رابين وياسر عرفات قال: “إن أبناء إبراهيم؛ أي نسل إسحق وإسماعيل، انخرطوا معاً في رحلة جريئة، واليوم مع بعضنا بكل قلوبنا وأرواحنا نقدّم لهم السلام”.

وفي عام 1994 وخلال اتفاقية وادي عربة التطبيعية بين الأردن والكيان الصهيوني قال الملك حسين: “سوف نتذكر هذا اليوم طيلة حياتنا لأجل أجيال المستقبل من الأردنيين والإسرائيليين والعرب والفلسطينيين، كل أبناء إبراهيم”.

وفي إطار توظيف الابراهيمية سياسياً برز في الغرب مصطلح “الدبلوماسية الروحية” وتم تعريفه بأنه مسار من مسارات التفاوض تستهدف حل النزاع أو منع حدوثه من أجل بناء سلام ديني عالمي عبر تقارب الديانات الإبراهيمية أو الدين العالمي الواحد.

وفي هذا الإطار ذاته أتت زيارة قداسة بابا الفاتيكان لمدينة أور الأثرية وللمرجعية الشيعية في النجف السيد السيستاني كي يتم إدخال المرجعية الشيعية في هذا المسار بعد أن طبّعت دول عربية أخرى مع الكيان الصهيوني. ولكن اللافت في تلك الزيارة أن قداسة البابا قد اصطحب معه عشر بعثات أثرية للتنقيب عن الآثار في مدينة أور العراقية؛ فما هي علاقة الآثار بهذا المسار؟

تقول الدكتورة هبة جمال الدين مدرس العلوم السياسية في القاهرة، إن الهدف النهائي لهذا المسار هو الكشف عن آثار تُثبت أن الشعوب الأصلية لهذه المنطقة ليسوا العرب بل اليهود الذين تم تهجيرهم من البلدان العربية، والمطالبة بتعويضات لهم ومحو الثقافة العربية وتأسيس اتحاد الأرض الإبراهيمية المشتركة مع رموز دينية جديدة وثقافة جديدة باشروا بالتأسيس لها من خلال تسجيل “المحكي” أو “الحكي”؛ أي توثيق تاريخ جديد من أفواه من يختارون ليحلّ مكان التاريخ الموجود والمعتمد في المنطقة، وقد كتبت الدكتورة هبة جمال الدين كتاباً عن “المسار الإبراهيمي الملغوم” فنّدت فيه الأهداف السياسية البعيدة لهذا المشروع ألا وهي إزالة الحدود وإزالة الانتماء للدول كما نعرفها اليوم، وتقويم المواطنين كمواطنين ينتمون فقط للديانة الإبراهيمية والتي دون شك سيكون الغرب والكيان الصهيوني هما المشرفان على وضع أسس هويتها والانتماء لها.

وقد تبنى الرئيس الأميركي ترامب هذه التسمية في الوثائق الأميركية، ولكن ومنذ فترة أصدر الرئيس بايدن أمراً بشطب مصطلح الإبراهيمية من الوثائق واستبداله بـ “التطبيع “؛ إذ نتذكر أن الاتفاقات الأخيرة التي عقدت بين الإمارات العربية المتحدة والبحرين من جهة وبين “إسرائيل” من جهة ثانية تمت تسميتها بـ”اتفاقات أبراهام”، والسبب أن الرئيس بايدن أمر بحذف هذا المصطلح لأن هوية المشروع بدأت تتكشف للباحثين والمناهضين له فخاف عليه أن يتم إجهاضه واعتبر أن الوقت لم ينضج بعد للإفصاح عن هذا المشروع الخطير والترويج له.

ويأتي هذا المشروع نتيجة فشل الكيان بالتطبيع مع الشعب العربي في مختلف أقطاره رغم أنه وقّع اتفاقيات مع حكومات متعاقبة في دول عربية مختلفة إلا أن هذه الاتفاقيات لم تحظ بتأييد الشعب ولم تترجم على أرض الواقع ولذلك فإن المسار الإبراهيمي يهدف إلى التطبيع الشعبي مستخدمين غطاء دينياً وسياحياً وإنسانياً للحديث عن المحبة والأخوة في الوقت الذي يتم الإبقاء على احتلال الأرض وقتل أهلها الأصليين ونهب الثروات وابتلاع الحقوق.

إن المطلوب اليوم من المرجعيات البحثية والدينية والسياسية في وطننا العربي هو مقارعة هذا التيار بالفكر والحجة والمنطق والحقوق وعدم إغفاله أو السكوت عنه، والتوقيت هو البارحة واليوم وغداً. وألا يُسمح لمثل هذه الأفكار والرؤى أن تصبح جزءاً من المناهج التعليمية حيث تعمل منظمات مختلفة لدسّ هذه المفاهيم في مناهج عربية، وأن يتمّ تفنيد خطورة الاسم والمسمى والأهداف الملغومة المبطنة لمشروع يستهدف عروبتنا ووجودنا وحقوقنا في حضارتنا وتاريخنا وأرضنا ومستقبل أجيالنا.

President Bashar Assad Takes the Oath for a New Presidential Term


Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Bashar Assad took the constitutional oath for a new presidential term yesterday, 17 July 2021, at the Syrian People’s Palace – the Presidential Palace in a highly ceremonial style and delivered one of his most direct speeches yet leaving no room for ambiguity in regards to the complete liberation of the country from NATO powers, Israel, and their proxies of Al Qaeda and the Kurdish SDF terrorists.

Syrian President Bashar Assad took the oath in attendance of dignitaries of the Syrian people, top state officials, army officers, members of the parliament, tribal notables, prominent artists of all arts, and intellectuals.

The ceremony started with the arrival of the president’s humble motorcade to the Presidential Palace to be received by the Guards of Honor walking him to the gates of the palace where he was received by the Syrian orchestra and then into the large hall with attendees jumping on their feet cheering their leader of victory over the most vicious and longest war of terror and war of attrition spearheaded by the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries resorting to all sorts of unthinkable massacres, genocide, displacement, and terrorism carried out directly by tens of thousands of terrorists on the ground and both directly and indirectly by the sponsors of the terror, the NATO member states.

For the full speech in Arabic visit SANA page.

Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Assad was received at the podium by the Speaker of the Parliament who invited him to take the oath and declared the beginning of the new presidential term, the Syrian presidential term is for 7 years, after which, President Assad delivered his inaugural speech.

In his one hour speech, which was interrupted several times by the enthusiastic audiences delivering short poems, praises, and blessings to their leader, President Bashar Assad outlined his new term’s strategy in all fields starting with continuing to liberate all of Syria and maintain its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, the liberation of all of the recognized Syrian territories including Idlib province, the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Syria, Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa provinces where US troops and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists occupy parts of those provinces, and of course, the Golan.

President Assad emphasized on the unity of the Syrian people of their rich ethnicities, religions, sects, and cultures, he stated that Arabism does not eliminate other cultures rather unites them under the leading culture on the one united land of Syria, in the oath itself, the President swore to work for the unity of all the Arab nation, that means all the Arab world who share the same language, lifestyle, culture, tradition, history, and have shared aspirations and future.

The Syrian President stressed on economic challenges due to the regions that remain under occupation especially in the northeast of the country where Syria’s main food and oil comes from, the western blockade against the country, and the inaccessibility of the foreign currencies held by the Lebanese banks with an estimate of 40 to 60 billion dollars owned by Syrian businessmen who moved most of it into the neighboring country during the early days of the war on Syria for protection and to facilitate trade with the world.

President Assad highlighted the achievements of the Syrian industrialists who remained in the country during the difficult years of the war and continued to work, those who resumed working after their cities were liberated from the terrorists, and those who founded new businesses with thousands of new factories and tens of thousands of workshops all over the country. The need to solve the electrical power shortages was also mentioned by the Syrian president where he called on more investments in alternative energy sources even when the main Syrian oil and gas fields are liberated and restored, he mentioned a recent solar power project that was started in the past week in the Industrial City of Adra as a PPP (public-private partnership) with the initiative from the state and with the contribution of several private investors, the project will be generating 100 Megawatts enough to cover the industrial city’s needs which will allow the now used electrical power to be available back to the grid in order to lessen the hours of the power rationing.

The Syrian president called on those who chose to fight against their own state to drop their weapons and join the reconciliation and return to their normal lives and help rebuild their country offering amnesty and reminding that the most generous were the families of the martyrs who forgave the killers of their loved ones in order to turn a page on this ruthless war, there’s no future for those fighting the state except more bloodshed and inevitable victory of the people over terrorism and the international sponsors of terrorism. He called on the displaced abroad to return to their country which needs them and they need it.

President Bashar Assad thanked Russia, China, Iran, and other countries and parties who stood beside Syria politically, militarily, and economically which helped the Syrian people in their fight and victory.

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Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

September 01, 2020

By Zamir Ahmed Awan for the Saker Blog

The U.S. has intensified its diplomatic activities in the Middle-East. After the Secretary of State Pompeo’s tour to six nations in the Middle-East, the Power-Pillar in White House, Jared Kushner, who is Senior advisor and son-in-law of President Donal Trump, along with Senior officials, is on his Middle-East trip currently.

The enhanced focus of the U.S. diplomatic and political engagement in the Middle-east has several objectives as:

On the surface, all efforts are for Israel, as the US is the only supporter of Israel blindly. The U.S. has been exercising its veto powers for Israel on several occasions and extends extraordinary political and diplomatic support, matched with non. It should be understood that, among the three prominent divine religions, Judaism is the oldest one, Christianity is the most populous in the Western World. However, Islam is the third one in its series and the last one of divine religion. A majority of Muslims inhabit the Middle East. The creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was not logical in the first step. The Jewish population in Palestine was only 11 % at the time of planning for the creation of Isreal. Later on, Jewish were shifted to Palestine from various parts of the World; and mostly, the wealthy Jews were motivated and encouraged to purchase land and property from the Arabs.

The Zionist struggle of the late 19th century had led by 1917 to the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain assured an ultimate separate state only for Jews in Palestine. When that former Ottoman province became a British mandate under the League of Nations in 1922, it contained about 700,000 people, of whom only 58,000 were Jews, approximately 11 % only.

Bulk relocation happened during the period of 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The well-off Jews were buying the property in Palestine. If some patriotic Arabs refuse to sell their property, they face severe consequences like murder, injuries, detention, arrest, hostage, or expelled to exile. The Zionist militias of the Haganah and Irgun killed 5,032 Arabs and wounded 14,760, consequential in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled. At the end of World War II, the Jewish community in Palestine had increased to 33% of the total population.

The U.N. General assembly, backed by the U.S. and U.K., approved the creation of the state of Israel only limited to 5,500 Square Kilometers in 1947. But The Jews militant grabbed more land from local Arabs in 1948. It created an adversary between Arabs and Israelis. It led to an Arab-Israel War in 1967, and Israel seized even more land from Arabs.

The core reason for unrest in the Middle-East is the irrational creation of the state of Israel. The illogical creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was the root cause of all problems. There are an estimated 8 million Jews all over the World, and out of which 6 million settled in the state of Israel, mostly migrated from Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia, and also from other parts of the World. The settlers were aliens, and not the son of the soil and not the local indigenous people, and furthermore, the expansionist approach of the State of Israel has been pushing Arabs out of their homeland. Millions of Palestinians have lost their home.

The World has a moral stance on the state of Israel that it should be limited to original approved state with an area of 5,500 Square Kilometers, and return the all illegal occupied Arab Land occupied in 1948 and 1967. Furthermore, the State of Israel promises and ensure that it will not hold any Arab land in the future. This principle-stance is in line with the UN Charter, OIC, and Arab-League decision. Most of the nations, including Russia and China, share similar views. But it is only the U.S. who support all irrational acts of Israel blindly. The Secretary of state will lobby for Israel during this trip and may gain more recognition from the Arab World.

Egypt was kicked out from the Arab league in 1979, as displeasure on its recognition of the State of Israel. It is worth citing that six nations founded the Arab League: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria in 1945 in Cairo, the Capital of Egypt. Later on, the other Arab countries kept on joining the Arab League, and currently, there are 22 members of the Arab League. The prime objective of the Creation of the Arab League was to promote the Palestinian Arab cause. The Arab League opposed the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 and implementing a boycott of Jewish State. Especially imposed an oil embargo, which lasted until the Khartoum Resolution in September 1967. The Arab League, in 2002, endorsed a Saudi Arabian Arab Peace Initiative, which called for a full withdrawal by Israel “to the 1967 borders” in return for fully normalized relations.

Egypt signed the Peace Treaty with the State of Israel in 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The treaty was received with vast controversy across the Arab World, where it was condemned and considered a stab in the back. The sense of outrage was principally strong amongst Palestinians. However, as a result of the treaty, Egypt was expelled out from its own created Arab League in 1979–1989. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad disconnected all relations with Egypt after the signing of the peace deal, and diplomatic relations were not restored until 2005, under the rule of Bashar al-Assad.

Jordan also recognized the State of Israel in 1984, which was also not welcomed by the Arab World, mainly the Palestinian.

Keeping solidarity with the Arab World, the 57-members OIC (The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), the second-largest organization after the United Nations, spread over four continents, takes a strong stance on Israel and demands the return of Arab Lands which Israel occupied in the 1967 war.

Israel has not been welcomed by the international community, even, in E.U., Russia, and China, in addition to the Arab & Muslim World. However, it enjoys extraordinary support from the U.S. and favors from its creator UK.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) becoming the third Arab state, besides Egypt and Jordan, to fully recognize Israel, after signing a peace deal on August 13, 2020. The U.S. mediated the peace agreement. However, the unofficial interaction began as early as 2010, and cooperation was based on their joint opposition to Iran’s nuclear program and regional influence. Israel opened an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in 2015, under cover of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

UAE’s decision has shocked the Muslim World, and there was a reaction. The most severe reaction came from Turkey, who is thinking to cut its diplomatic ties with the UAE. Iran is the most affected country, as rival Israel may sit next door in UAE. The growing defense cooperation between Israel and UAE is an alarming and significant threat to Iran. UAE and Israel were not at good terms with Iran historically.

Some of the other Arab countries also shown displeasures. In fact, the Arab World might lose unity and may divide pro and anti-this decisions. It may weaken the unity of the Arab World further. This agreement will have a far-reaching impact, and over time, the outcomes will be visible.

Secondly, the U.S. has lodged a media war against Russia and China. Their controlled media is building a narrative against Russia and China and projecting Russia and China as a severe threat. The Secretary of State also tried to convince the Arab World against Russia and China, building alliances in case of any confrontation in the region. The U.S. is in the habit of forming partnerships and alliances against their adversaries, and in the past, their such approach was successful. Secretary of State also traveled to four countries in Europe to convince them to join the U.S. against Russia and China but failed, and Europe seems more divided on the U.S. stance on Russia and China. It is believed that The U.S. efforts may also divide the Arab-Word into groups pro-America and Anti-America. This may create a space for Russia and China to lead the Anti-American block in the Arab World as well as in Europe.

The third objective is a part of the election campaign for the presidential election. President Trump has determined to re-elect again and can go to any extent. One can expect any abnormal decision from him to win the election. He wanted to prove that his foreign policy is in the best interest of American people “America First.” He is also using anti-Russia and Anti-China card to gain sympathy from the American voters.

Most of the Arab World, especially the oil-rich Gulf countries, is ruled by Kings and dictators, who depend on U.S. support to sustain their rule. But anti-American sentiments are growing immensely. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has widened its objectives in such tours, which makes it more difficult to achieve any significant results. Secretary of State trip failed to convince any other Arab country to recognize Israel. Contrary, the adversary has been enhanced. Either he was unable to persuade the State of Israel to suspend its expansion plans. In contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu categorically announced that the expansion plans are postponed or delayed only but not canceled or dropped out. He was also not able to convince most of the Arab countries to be part of the Anti-China-Russia alliance. Neither any direct impact on the Presidential Elections to be held in November later this year. His tour was counterproductive. Jared Kushner’s mission may also meet the same fate and no net gain at all.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail:

خرافة تحييد لبنان!

طلال سلمان.

لبنان الآن على كف عفريت… تحييد البلد المفلس والمتزاحم ابناؤه على السفارات بطلب “الفيزا” للخروج منه في زمن انتهى فيه معسكر عدم الانحياز.

مع وصول السفيرة الاميركية الجديدة في لبنان، دوروثي شيا، وهجومها المباشر (والخارج على الاصول الدبلوماسية وركائز العلاقات بين الدول الصديقة) على “حزب الله”، محرر الجنوب من الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، وصاحب كتلة نيابية وازنة وجماهير عريضة في معظم انحاء لبنان.. هبت رياح الدعوة إلى تحييد لبنان عن المنازعات والصراع في المنطقة.

تحييد البلد المفلس والمتزاحم ابناؤه على السفارات بطلب “الفيزا” للخروج منه، في زمن انتهى معسكر عدم الانحياز بقيادة جواهر لآل نهرو وجمال عبد الناصر وتيتو الذي حفظ وحدة يوغسلافيا. فما أن غاب حتى عادت دولا شتى لا قيمة لها في اوروبا ولا دور لها في العالم كالذي ابتدعه لها تيتو.

تتبع “الدولة” سياسة انكار ما لا يمكن انكاره” فالجوع اصدق إنباء من الكتب”، ومن حسان دياب ومناورات جبران باسيل وسط الإغفاءات المتقطعة لفخامة رئيس الجمهورية، كلها تشهد بأن لبنان بخير..

وماذا اذا استفقنا على سوريا مدمرة أو محتلة، شمالها للأتراك، بذريعة مقاتلة الاكراد، والساحل- طرطوس- اللاذقية – بانياس- للروس مع دوريات مؤللة تلاقي الاتراك بود ظاهر، اما قلبها – دمشق وضواحيها – فللحرس الثوري الايراني مع مقاتلي “حزب الله”.

كذلك فان العراق الذي بالكاد انتهى ترميمه بعد حروب صدام حسين التي دمرت أرض الرافدين، وجعلت الخزينة العراقية خاوية الا ما يلزم كشرهات لمن يتولى الحكم، وبقرب بغداد قوات اميركية، وفي أنحاء شتى قوات من الحرس الثوري الايراني، والكرد ما زالوا يطالبون بنصيبهم في الحكم بعد نيلهم رئاسة الدولة وعدد وافر من الوزارات، مع مناصب رفيعة في مؤسسات النفط الخ.. كل هذا من دون أن يتنازلوا عن مطلبهم بإقامة دولة كردستان المستقلة في شمالي العراق، حتى والجيوش التركية تقتحم تلك المناطق بذريعة مطاردة الاكراد الاتراك المقهورين في ظل السلطان اردوغان.

المهم أن النشيد الوطني الجديد الذي انطلق من الديمان وتولى الترويج له بضعة من السياسيين من ذوي الانتماء “المحايد” أخذوا يرددون نغمة “الحياد” بديلاً من النشيد الوطني.

الحياد بين من ومن؟

بين الاتحاد السوفياتي ومعسكره الاشتراكي الذي سقط بالضربة البوتينية القاضية؟ أم بين دولة الامارات وقطر العظمى؟ أم بين السعودية المذهبة واليمن الذي يموت أهله جوعاً..هذا إذا هم نجوا من رصاص الاخوة – الاعداء من ابطال الاحتلال السعودي – الاماراتي! أم بين الغزو التركي بقيادة السلطان الذي أقحم المعلم التاريخي الذي كان كنيسة آيا صوفيا، في الماضي وغداة نشوء السلطنة، وقرر تحويله إلى مسجد، متنكرا للتاريخ وحتى لأصول الصلاة عند المسلمين، اذ دخل الكنيسة التي صيرت مسجداً، بحذائه خلافاً لقواعد الصلاة.

أما مصر فمشغولة بهموم سد النهضة في الحبشة، خوفاً على السد العالي الذي انقذ المئة مليون مصري من العطش، والذي افتتحه الرئيس الراحل جمال عبد الناصر مع خروتشوف، اظرف رئيس عرفته موسكو، والذي خلع نعليه ليطرق بهما على منصة وفده في الامم المتحدة، حين بدأ الرئيس الاميركي خطابه.. وكان ذلك تعبيراً عن موقف الاتحاد السوفياتي من مشروع الغزو الاميركي لدولة فيديل كاسترو في كوبا.. وهي الجلسة التي حضرها معظم اقطاب دول عدم الانحياز: جواهر لال نهرو، وجمال عبد الناصر وتيتو، في حين كان الوفد الاميركي برئاسة جون كيندي.

يومها، كما يحب الاميركي أن ينسى، ترك كاسترو مبنى الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك ونزل ليجول في أحياء “السود”، الذين كانوا يحاولون الانتفاض ضد الظلم الاسود في البيت الابيض في واشنطن… وهو الظلم الذي تجلى مؤخراً في قتل جورج فلويد بحذاء بعض رجال الحرس، بينما صار البيت الابيض مقراً للمهووسين بقيادة دونالد ترامب، الداعم الاخطر للمشروع الصهيوني الذي يعمل على انجازه رئيس الحكومة الاسرائيلية المشتركة بين نتنياهو ومعارضيه، والذي – يشمل في ما يشمل – منطقة الاغوار التي تحفظ تلالها اجداث بعض ابطال فتح دمشق ومنهم ابو عبيدة الجراح.

يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم…

لبنان الآن على كف عفريت. وسوريا تتمزق أمام عيون الاخوة العرب، والروس والاتراك والايرانيون يتقاسمن اراضيها، والرئيس الروسي بوتين يستقبل الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد في مقر السفارة الروسية في دمشق، ممتنعا عن الصعود للقائه في القصر الجمهوري على بعض الروابي التي غناها امير الشعراء احمد شوقي بقوله:

قُمْ نَاجِ جِلَّقَ وانْشُدْ رَسْـمَ مَنْ بَانُوامَشَتْ عَلَى الرّسْمِ أَحْدَاثٌ وَأَزْمَانُ
هَذا الأَديـمُ كِتابٌ لا انْكِفَـاءَ لَـهُرَثُّ الصَّحَائِفِ، بَاقٍ مِنْهُ عُـنْوانُ
بَنُـو أُمَـيَّـةَ للأنْبَـاءِ مَا فَتَحُـواوَللأحَـادِيثِ مَا سَـادُوا وَمَا دَانُوا
كَـانوا مُلُوكاً، سَرِيرُ الشّرقِ تَحْتَهُمُفَهَلْ سَأَلْتَ سَريرَ الغَرْبِ مَا كَانُوا؟
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