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Ahmad Masa'deh underlines the threats of disintegrating the Arab national states

Ahmad Masa'deh underlines the threats of disintegrating the Arab national states
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Rome - Ahmad Masa'deh raised a group of questions as to whether Arab States are really moving from dis-integration to more cohesion, unity and re-integration, or that is just a myth, and the looming reality is that we are approaching a third war in the region leading to more fractured ethnical states.

His remarks came during his chairmanship of the panel on "State Disintegration and Re-integration" which was held as part of the conference organized by the NATO Defense College Foundation in Rome under the title "Arab Geopolitics: from Turmoil towards Balances, Stability and Regional Order".

"In putting to our panelists and the floor as well, such an eye opener question, I was led by a group of factors, or developments on the ground you may say which we have been witnessing", Masa'deh said.

The most recent development according to Masa'deh is the effect of the recently held independence referendum in Kurdistan of Iraq on regional stability and what disintegration impact would it have on the levant countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey. 

According to Masa'deh, the Kurdistan of Iraq referendum not only hits the unity of Iraq at heart, but also jeopardizes Turkish interest who is a NATO member state, therefore enquiring about "what should we expect from Turkey in this regard? Today we hear of borders closure and oil supply cutting". He also questioned the Turkish Russian cooperation, highlighted recently by the Russian S 400 missiles deal and whether Turkey is departing for once and for all from from the EU / Western sphere after it stayed knocking on the EU door for decades without an answer, and if NATO need to be concerned about this.

Ahmad Masa'deh then raised questions about the Gas fields in the Mediterranean and the economic and security trilateral axes that are emerging: economic, energy and security cooperation between Israel Greece Cyprus plus to some extent Bulgaria and Romania on the one hand, and an Egyptian Greek Cypriot cooperation on the other. Masa'deh said: "Is gas supply one major element causing the recent standoff between Israel and Turkey? And is the Kurdistan issue going to add fuel to the fire? Will this lead to forging an antagonist axis comprising Russia Syria Lebanon Iran and Turkey, and with the reality of axes in the region we plunge into more dis-integration?"

Masa'deh believes that these questions will facilitate or hinder a political solution in Syria, and intuitively affect the nature of its outcome. And the question becomes then, according to him, as to the threats of disintegrating Syria and the spell overs of that to Jordan and Lebanon, and how realistic are the chances for the re-integration of that devastated country.

Masa'deh also addressed in his opening remarks the ongoing Qatari – Saudi - UAE standoff raising questions as to the future impact on GCC solidarity and damage caused. Masa'deh said: "in the sphere of this conflict the question pops up yet again: is Iran the Elephant in the room? Is Iran hampering with the Arab geo-political interests (GCC a special case) or the reality is that there is no clear common Arab geo-policy?"

Masa'deh also tackled the situation of Libya questioning as to whether that country represents "a ticking bomb leading to further Arab dis-integration." He asked what are the Prospects from turmoil to stability and what more pro-active role the EU ought to take in order to protect European interests.  

The former Jordanian minister and ambassador to the EU and NATO added that "in asking these questions we should not loose site of the role of non-state actors, and on the helm of that sits the terrorist group ISIS (Daesh) and the damage it caused to state integration. And I wonder if the existing from Syria & Iraq and the re-grouping in Libya is opening a new dis-integration chapter and new battle field?"

Ahmad Masa'deh also emphasized the need to examine the era of post ISIS and non-state actors in the region including tools to lead in that era: Security cooperation or economic re-building, or both, adding that "if we put states aside for one moment, what would be needed to re-integrate societies and peoples after this blood shed and ethnical mess? What is NATO’s role in that phase especially in light of a growing Russian hegemony in the Arab region particularly in the Levant area?"

At the end of his opening remarks, the former Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean inquired about the Arab League’s future role in Arab states turmoil and if the Arab League delivered on its charter. He said: "if one will say that the Arab League itself suffers from dis-integration symptoms, is that due to organizational and structural weaknesses or fingers should be pointed at the power-less and non-committed member states? Would a new model revive Arab common action?"

Ahmad Masa'deh concluded his remarks with the central question as to whether Arab states dis-integration eliminates prospects for a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace accord and the chances for a Palestinian-Israeli two-state solution dwindle day be day.

In his intervention during the same session, Jordan's former Prime Minister Senator Samir Al-Rifai warned from the dwindling of the Arab identity due to the lack of active players to put the Arab vehicle back on course which negatively affects Arab common action and leads to more state disintegration.

Al-Rifai called for more Arab solidarity in light of the deep crisis which the region is going through to counter further disintegration, pointing to the presence of a clear Russian policy in the region in the absence of a policy on that matter from the Western Hemisphere.

The Vice President of the Jordanian House of Senates added that: "confidence building measures are much needed between Arab States to get out of the current crisis" and that "a new economic and geo-political model resembling the EU model going hand in hand with a clear Marshal Plan for the region, and living in peace and tolerance among regional parties and neighboring states are all pillars for the future of the region."

Al-Rifai ended his remarks underlining the importance of ending the Arab Israeli conflict and the centrality of establishing a Palestinian State in order to diffuse all regional tension. He also stressed that Jordan should be accorded the proper regional and international assistance in light of its instrumental and serious shouldering, under the leadership of King Abdallah, of its international responsibility manifested in hosting continuous influx of refugees as a result of the ongoing regional crises.

The conference was attended by a group of high profile politicians, academics, military and businessmen, as well as Arab Ambassadors in Rome. Among the participants were the Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abou ElGheit, his predecessor Nabil Al Arabi, and the former deputy prime minister of Syria Dr Abdallah Al-Dardari. 

About Ahmad Masa'deh

السيرة الذاتية

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Khalaf Masa’deh is a Jordanian public figure and a lawyer.  He served as a minister, ambassador and chief of an international organization.  Today, Ahmad Masa’deh practices law and is the Managing Partner of Khalaf Masa’deh & Partners Ltd. in Amman.  Ahmad Masa’deh was born in Amman, Jordan on 19 May 1969.  After...
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