A leading academic has warned that excluding Hamas from the forthcoming Arab summit in Libya will hinder peace efforts in Palestine. According to Dr. Mohamed Mesfer, a professor of political science in Qatar, “The presence of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – at the Arab summit is crucial for peace efforts in the region.” Furthermore, excluding Hamas as an official delegation is in direct contravention of all Arab peace initiatives, he said. “Any Arab country that chooses not to attend the summit if Hamas is present will not be serving the interests of the Arab nation or whatever comes out of the Tripoli meeting,” added Dr. Mesfer.
Currently in Sana’a to take part in meetings on the future development of Yemen, Dr. Mesfer did not place much value on the threats of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to boycott the Arab summit if Hamas is invited. Such threats are, he claimed, “meaningless, because this authority is outside the Arab context; it is connected entirely to the American and Israeli administration”. In his view, said Dr. Mesfer, the presence of the PA, or its absence, would do nothing for the Palestinian case on its own.
The Qatari academic and commentator pointed out that as the host country Libya has the right to invite whoever it thinks is appropriate for a successful Arab summit, before adding, “We must affirm the right of every country hosting an Arab summit to invite anyone to the main and side sessions to ensure an active programme. I believe that without Hamas the summit will be flawed politically. Previous Arab summits have hosted guests without concessions to anyone, and the host country has a right to invite national movements working on the liberation of their land from occupation.”
Qatar is making great efforts to push for the success of the Tripoli summit and bringing together both sides of the major split in the Palestinian people is one way to bring an end to the division believes Dr. Mesfer. Qatari diplomacy is very active, and the academic thinks that it is “unacceptable” to invite one side but not the other. “Qatar has tried before, and is still trying, to unite the parties,” he said, “and the Qatari prime minister has travelled to Gaza for this purpose, but due to the presence of a country in the region that refused any Arab efforts other than those of the Egyptians, that effort did not succeed.” The summit in March has an opportunity to be successful in this and other matters, but Dr. Mesfer thinks that the presence of both the PA from Ramallah and Hamas from Gaza is vital.
Source: Quds Press