Arab Summit in Bahrain: Exceptional in its place, timing and agenda

Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

MANAMA: The Arab Summit to be held on Thursday in Bahrain will be exceptional in its place, timing and agenda, a senior Bahraini official has said.

The 33rd Arab Summit will be held over one day and will bring the leaders of the 22 Arab countries members of the Arab League of Arab States or their representatives.

A major focus of the summit will be the launch of a new stage in joint Arab action, consisting of two parallel tracks,” Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Political Affairs, said.

“The first is the ability to find drastic solutions to the crises and challenges in the region, and the second is cooperation on sustainable development in its various tributaries to catch up with global progress,” he said, quoted by Al Sharq Al Awsat daily.

The Arab nation is facing a historic entitlement, and the Arab street is looking forward to the summit decisions and outcome, he added.

The summit logo on a welcome poster

The summit logo on a welcome poster

The Arab summit held in Bahrain for the first time “constitutes a very important event whose significance is amplified by the unprecedented challenges, mainly the unrelenting Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, the worsening situations in Sudan, Libya and Yemen, and the grave security and economic issues that need to be addressed quickly, Shaikh Abdullah said.

He stressed that Arab solidarity is an impenetrable bulwark for confronting all crises and difficulties, and preserving Arab national security in light of the strong belief that a just and comprehensive peace is the strategic option, to which there is no alternative, to establish a renewed and balanced regional order.

Regarding the Palestinian issue, the Undersecretary of the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The position of the Palestinian issue is at the core of the conflict in the Middle East region. It is the central issue and the most prominent topic that will top the agenda of the Bahrain Arab Summit.”

“We look forward to the prompt end of the painful human tragedy in the Gaza Strip, and for all the peoples of the region to enjoy security and peace.”

Flags of Arab countries edge a highway in Bahrain

Flags of Arab countries edge a highway in Bahrain

He added that Bahrain’s position on the Palestinian issue is “steadfast and clear.”

“We support the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant international legitimacy resolutions, to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights and establish their independent state, in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution,” he said.

Shaikh Abdullah stressed the importance of the international community, especially the Security Council, in carrying out its responsibilities “in implementing ceasefire decisions in the Gaza Strip in a way that preserves the lives of civilians and provides them with humanitarian and relief assistance without obstacles.”

Likewise, Arabs need to “crystallize at the summit a unified position that contributes to stopping the aggression immediately and ending this ongoing tragic ordeal.”

Shaikh Abdullah expressed confidence that Bahrain is capable of leading the Arab summit to achieve tangible achievements that will be bolster the process of joint Arab action.

“We do not take challenges for granted, but rather we look for innovative solutions, and how the issues at hand can be better addressed.”

The flags of the Arab countries per (Arabic) alphabetical order

The flags of the Arab countries starting with Bahrain and then as per the Arabic alphabetical order

He expressed hope that “the summit will come out with effective decisions and recommendations to enhance the security and development of Arab countries, find diplomatic solutions to settle conflicts, and achieve comprehensive sustainable development.”

“Bahrain is looking forward to the outcomes of the Manama Declaration, given the amplitude, importance, and vitality of the issues addressed, in addition, there is a clear aspiration from everyone to bolster Arab cooperation.”

Shaikh Abdullah warned that fragmentation represents a real challenge to Arab national security.

“It is no longer acceptable for this situation to continue in light of the critical and complex conditions through which the region is going,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that this situation has spread to some Arab countries, and it now poses a serious threat to the national state, undermining its sovereignty and institutions.”

The senior diplomat said that despite the escalation of conflicts in the Middle East and the collapse of the global security, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries seek to maintain the regional balance through more coherent policies, building partnerships with economic blocs to exchange benefits, and ensuring maritime security.

The GCC, formed in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


“There is a GCC consensus on the necessity of continuing efforts to confront challenges with sustainable mechanisms that include developing domestic capabilities, adopting effective diplomacy, and building external alliances,” he said.

Shaikh Abdullah said that the “Gulf Cooperation Council Vision for Regional Security,” a vision launched in March, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, comes “recognizes the importance of fortifying our common security to confront all challenges.”

This vision addresses the security challenges facing the countries of the region, and their impact on international peace and security, while strengthening joint work for the sake of a more peaceful, stable and prosperous region.

“Bahrain believes in the necessity of unity among the Gulf states as an integral part of Arab national security, and we hope that the Kingdom’s chairmanship of the summit will contribute to taking more rapid and accomplished steps, and reaching decisions and recommendations that protect the Arab nation and promote common interests that serve its just causes,” Shaikh Abdullah said.

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