Written by Nasser Kandil,
The question that must preoccupy all the Lebanese officials is what if the Arab Summit in Beirut has been held without Syria rather than the search for answers to questions such as the magnitude of the consent to invite Syria or to postpone the summit if the invitation was disabled. Those do not pay attention to the fact that if Syria was invited to participate, it may attend but not at a presidential level but only to meet a warm Lebanese desire that finds in the presence of the Syrian President a Lebanese gain offered by Syria rather than a Lebanese sacrifice for the sake of Syria. Now everything is clear, only stupid cannot pay attention that the time for Syria’s invitation to attend another Arab summit is not more than a few weeks. Therefore, it is not Syria’s opportunity to make use of any summit in Beirut to reconcile with the Arab rulers since it is not something that upsets Syria and its leadership, but to meet the calls to return needs too much thinking. It is something different from the return of the diplomatic relations between Syria and any concerned countries. Furthermore, there are fundamental questions about the future of the Arab League after the past years.
It is an additive value for any summit to be attended by Syria, Syria which emerged victorious from a fierce war in which more than half of the world and more than half of the region participated in. it is an additive exceptional value for Lebanon to succeed in making the summit which it hosts an opportunity for Syria’s presence, since the consequences of holding a summit without Syria in such Arab atmosphere will mean that Lebanon will be under the effect of hostile political considerations that prevent making any effort for getting the Arab consent for the return of Syria, and will mean formal Lebanese abandonment of the new status of Syria on one hand, and an abandonment of the Lebanese interests in the relation with Syria on the other hand, although they are mutual interests but for Lebanon more, whether in the Lebanese willingness to be a partner in the reconstruction of Syria or the status of Syria for Lebanon as an economic passage or a linkage to the region markets in addition to the Lebanese need to coordinate with Syria in the issue of the displaced, despite the fact that Syria has Jordanian proposals to play an open platform to the outside for reconstruction and Turkish efforts. Both have interests in the issue of the displaced to end the pressures resulted from the displaced on their economy.
In addition to the interests, there are considerations that are related to the Lebanese National Reconciliation which was represented in the Taif Accord, where the distinctive relations with Syria are the essence of its Arab identity, while the delay in dealing with Syria from the opportunity of the Arab League will mean exposing the Taif Accord to a serious danger whether in the other items of the Syrian-Lebanese relationships or the Lebanese- Lebanese relationships, because no one considers the Taif Accord a sacred agreement but its fall without a consensual alternative will mean unpredictable danger.
There is no debate in the ability of Lebanon to invite Syria, but the question is whether Lebanon is serious in turning the summit into an opportunity to invite Syria. Did the Lebanese make efforts in such issue in the Arab world, as resolving the internal dispute since it is a higher interest of the country and an issue that is subject to the criteria of the Lebanese National Reconciliation? And who did communicate with the Arab officials to let them know that the higher interest of Lebanon is to host the first summit of reconciliation rather the last summits of boycotting, knowing that Lebanon has made the first presidential visit to the Arab axis against Syria represented by Riyadh, and its President did not made yet any visit to Syria while many Arab Presidents have preceded him. Therefore, the Arabs who boycotted Syria and want to reconcile with it have to treat it worthy and to grant it the opportunity to host the summits of reconciliation.
If the result was not positive whether after making every possible efforts or through ending the blame, the question remains what is the benefit of Lebanon to hold the summit without Syria and why its postponement is the bitterest, to be postponed after the Arab reconciliations with Syria or to be held without Syria. Lebanon has the ability to postpone the summit if it fails to provide the opportunity for the presence of Syria.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,