An Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference concluded last night with a call for support of the Palestinians through the immediate cessation of all forms of Arab normalization with the state of Israel. The 29th Parliamentary Conference focused primarily on Jerusalem, its status and its future, during which lawmakers from across the Arab world rejected any “non-Muslim” control over the antient city. To underline their position, and in response to the U.S. Administration decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; Egyptian Parliament speaker Ali Abdelaal, who serves as the rotating Chairperson of the conference, declared Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine. “Here in this conference, we have decided that the main issue and central cause will be that of Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine. The reason behind this is the decision taken by the U.S. administration, a decision which went against international law,” Abdelaal said.
The host of the conference, Jordan’s Parliament Speaker Atef Tarawneh, claimed that the absence of a comprehensive solution to Palestinian aspirations is the main cause for frustration and despair among the Arab youth, which subsequently leads to a cycle of terrorism. That is why, Tarawneh stressed, that the time has come for the Palestinians to yet again receive full support from the Arab world. In his words, “As a result of the absence of a just and comprehensive solution to the (Palestinian) cause, terrorist attacks followed, and the Arab youth were led to frustration and despair. Today is the right time for (the cause) to take its rightful place and to receive full Arab support.”
Among the attendees of the conference was the Parliament Speaker of the Syrian Arab republic, who stressed to reporters that his presence among the parliamentarians of the Arab world – after years of absence due to the devastating conflict in Syria – was a natural reality. He further claimed that a growing rapprochement between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the leaders of the Arab world, came in light of Assad’s decision to look to the future, rather than dwell in past disagreements. According to Syrian Parliament Speaker Hamouda Sabbagh, “Our presence here in the Jordanian capital Amman is a natural thing, to be among our loving brothers. Syria, thank God, is taking strong steps toward final victory. There are great achievements that have been made. We always say, following the sentiments of President Bashar Al Assad, that we always look forward.”
It is important to note, however, that while many countries around the Arab and Muslim world have already reopened diplomatic missions in Damascus, effectively putting aside prior-reservations of dealing with the Assad regime; Saudi Arabia, continues to voice its own-reservations on potentially ‘normalizing relations with the Syrian Arab Republic.’ In a joint Press conference in the Saudi-capital Riyadh, the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir responded to a reporter on the matter – in the presence of his Russian counterpart – saying, “The reopening of the Saudi embassy in Syria is closely related to the political process in Syria. I think it’s too early to talk about it now. As for rebuilding Syria, this usually happens after the war is over and when we can be sure of the stability and peace in Syria.”