The Chair


Enab Baladi Issue # 110 – Sun, Mar. 30, 2014 – Editorial

The Arab 25thSummit held in Kuwait was concluded a few days ago, failing –as usual- to achieve any progress and triggering only growing controversies and utter disappointment and frustration at the same time.

The Syrian issue took centre stage at the Arab League Summit as the most divisive issue during the preparatory meetings and the conference was that of Syria’s vacant chair.

The Saudi King repeatedly put in a request for the Syrian National Coalition to take Syria’s seat. The Saudi request received the support of several Arab states, yet it was turned down by others. Meanwhile, the head of the Syrian National Coalition remained seated near the vacant chair, stressing -whenever allowed by other Arab leaders- the importance of filling the vacancy. And thus, the summit was held with an empty chair marked with the Syrian flag and concluded with the decision granting the chair to the Syrian Nation Coalition.

Though the resolution to grant the vacant seat to the Syrian National Coalition was reviewed based on realizing the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, the Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Alarabi, right after announcing the resolution, stated that it does not place any legal obligations on the Arab League towards the Syrian Coalition, and thus the Arab states officially evaded the responsibility towards the Syrian Revolution.

The Arab Summits still excel every year in being more and more disappointing to the people in all Arab countries. This year, the calls and sacrifices for freedom and dignity in Syria were viewed by the Arab League just as a seat in an ineffective bloc.

The Syrian people are still facing death at every corner: suffering from displacement, starvation, shelling and systematic killing; while the Arab League has reduced the screams and the demands of the afflicted people in Syria to a chair that will be given to the opposition in the next year’s summit. Such action is a clear indication for the Syrians that they will face the fate alone, making it an absolute necessity for the Syrian opposition’s factions to realign its status and its priorities, counting on no one’s support.

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