Arab leaders shun Algiers’ summit
Has the Arab summit failed before its kickstart on November 1? As was expected, the Arab summit in Algeria is on its way to be the least attended by Arab monarchs and presidents. Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister was the first to apologize from attending the Algiers summit and other Gulf monarchs are expected to follow suit.
The absence of Bin Salman was first announced by the Algerian presidency after phone talks between the Saudi leader and Algeria’s president.
Media reports spoke of similar decisions by other Gulf monarchs including President of the UAE Mohammad Bin Zayed and the monarchs of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun will not attend the summit as his term ends on October 31 and Lebanese parliament is still struggling to elect a successor for the outgoing president.
The Moroccan palace has not yet confirmed who will represent Rabat and neither did Jordan and Egypt.
According to analysts, more Arab leaders are expected to skip the Algiers summit which was postponed three times.
Algeria is increasingly perceived in the Arab World as an Iranian ally backing bloody regimes including Bashar Al Assad in Syria whose presence in the summit was a red line for most Arab countries.
Algeria also stands at the opposite side of most Arab countries due to its persistence in supporting armed groups that sow instability in the region, such as the Polisario separatist whose connivance with terrorist groups and links with Iran are no secret according to several western reports.
Algeria has also discredited itself by its heinous stands regarding Morocco with whom it severed ties, cut gas supplies and closed its airspace. Thus, Algeria’s slogans of seeking Arab unity are perceived as mere propaganda by the rest of the Arab world.
Gulf countries and Jordan have made their position clear in support of Morocco’s territorial integrity and Egypt has expressed support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara region, leaving Algeria the only country in the Arab world that seeks in vain to undermine Morocco’s sovereignty over all its territories.
The absence of Arab monarchs and presidents from the Algiers summit reflects Algeria’s isolation in the Arab region and shows that Arab leaders feel uncomfortable about visiting Algiers even for a one-day summit.