By Sohaila Barghash
On Thursday, the six Arab Foreign Ministers met in order to unify their stances on regional crises, based on the statement delivered by Jordan’s Foreign Minister.
Prior to the meeting, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Sufian Qudah also stated that the ministers will be discussing bilateral relations and regional developments.
Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi said after the meeting: “the ministers exchanged views on regional issues and ways of cooperation to overcome regional crises.” Adding, the meeting was “positive and productive.”
This meeting is set after the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo completed his tour around various Arab nations including most of the nations represented in this meeting.
Pompeo’s trip failed to provide concrete information about the direction of the Trump administration’s policies in the Middle East.
Furthermore, outrage from American politicians over US support for countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia was more apparent. Especially when bearing in mind the two Gulf countries’ coalition in the war on Yemen.
The six Foreign Ministers represent countries who are strong US allies, and who have previously backed each other in isolating other Arab nations like Qatar.
Four of the six Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt continue to have no diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that was denied by Qatar and is based on no proof.
The meeting aimed at providing solutions to achieve “security and stability in the interest of Arab benefit.” Yet those specific nations failed to cooperate with other Arab countries.
The Foreign Ministers met with the Jordanian King, Abdullah II, who emphasized “the importance of coordinating Arab positions on regional issues”, based on the royal court.
Additionally, King Abdullah stressed the need to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.
He also stated that guaranteeing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is crucial to achieving peace and stability in the region.
Analysts claim, the meeting could have been more productive if concerned parties were present, for example, the Palestinian issue was discussed with no Palestinian representative.
Former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Mamdouh Abadi announced that “The meeting was aimed at finding ways of bringing Syria back to the Arab fold,” which is apparent through the efforts of some Arab nations to bring Syria back to the table.
For instance, last month, the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus, while Jordan appointed a charge d’affaires at its embassy.
However, Adnan Abu Odeh, a former Jordanian royal advisor said: “Everyone is thinking now of bringing Syria back to the Arab League and the rebuilding efforts in Syria. But the Syrians threw a monkey wrench into the process when they signed a long-term agreement with Iran regarding economic cooperation and the rebuilding of Syria.”
With the current situation in the Middle East and the lack of cooperation among various Arab nations, it is difficult to assume a meeting with only a portion of the region can achieve much in coordinating the regional crisis.