IT is during difficult times like this that true personalities emerge, narrow political games fail, and priceless virtues rise. On this basis, it is possible to measure the initiative of solidarity launched by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for Syria who communicated with the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, declared solidarity with Damascus, and dedicated all resources for facing the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past ten years, many stances have been taken based on calculations that do not correspond with the reality, especially in terms of some Arab countries seeking to overthrow the Syrian regime under the assumption that this is what the Syrians want, but the latter did not entrust its affairs to any country; in fact, we saw majority of these people standing by the de facto regime.
In the military confrontation, the Syrians were left victims of Turkish-Iranian-Russian-Arab interference. Other major countries benefited from their torture, sharks in the sea devoured the bodies of the Syrian migrants, and some countries imprisoned the displaced Syrians in camps that lack the most basic elements of humanity.
Today, in light of the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping across the world, taking toll on hundreds of thousands of people, and producing tens of thousands of victims, many countries have abandoned their tough stances and are seeking to cooperate with each other in order to combat this pandemic. They have dedicated their resources at the disposal of the affected countries especially those suffering from lack of medical and pharmaceutical supplies.
There is no doubt that Syria, after ten years of warfare that affects all of its components, is today in urgent need of everything that would help it combat this pandemic, so that its people will not have to fight on two fronts – terrorists, Iranian and Turkish occupations with Russian intervention, and groups backed by Arab and regional countries on one front, and the coronavirus on the other.
In light of this widespread nature of the virus, it will not be surprising if some countries ask the migrants and displaced Syrians to return to where they came from at a time when the war is still raging in their country. This means leaving millions of these people stranded between a rock and a hard place, as they cannot return to their country in light of the current situation.
Therefore, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s move can be considered as a great, courageous, timely, and well-placed initiative. It would undoubtedly help in changing the Arab political mood, which today needs to reconsider its attitudes towards a war that led some countries to be swallowed up and depleted.
If what is really required is fortifying Arab national security, protecting the region from the Iranian and Turkish incursions, and not giving Russia room to dominate the region, then the best solution at present is to refute arguments that attract such interventions by reinstating Syria back to the Arab house, and transforming the initiative of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to become a comprehensive Gulf and Arab initiative.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times