DAMASCUS (SANA)- The20th Arab Summit concluded its deliberations on Sunday by issuing the Damascus Declaration. Arab solidarity, national security and revitalizing the mechanisms of Arab joint action featured prominently.
The Declaration read by Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa in a press conference , highlighted the following topics:
– Commitment to bolstering Arab solidarity to protect Arab national security and to guarantee for each Arab country’s safety , sovereignty, the right to defend itself and non-interference in its internal affairs, in addition to implementing the resolutions of previous Arab Summits and Arab joint action organizations, improving the role of the Arab League and supporting its efforts to develop a working Arab system.
-Working to surpass inter-Arab disputes through deep, effective dialogue and to overcome weaknesses in some aspects of joint Arab action. -Giving priority to the higher interests of the Arab nation over any arguments or disputes , and for dealing firmly with any foreign interference that attempts to stoke inter-Arab disputes.
-Standing together in the face of economic and political pressure campaigns imposed by certain countries on any Arab and for taking necessary steps to confront such action. -Unifying Arab stance towards any issues presented at international conferences.
-Allotting Arabic language special attention , so that it may keep up with scientific developments in an age when globalization and information and become a means to face attempts of the defamation and westernization of Arab culture.
– Achieving stronger cooperation in the light of the joint responsibility to support Arab economic integration projects, leading to a Common Arab Market, in addition to working to guarantee the success of the Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit which will be held in Kuwait in 2009.
– Regarding the challenges facing the Arab nation, the Declaration announced the following :
-Continuing to provide all forms of political, material and moral support to the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli occupation and its hostile policies and practices, affirming the unity of rank among all Palestinians.
-Warning against excessive Israeli policies of siege and attack, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and treating them as war crimes that require immediate action, demanding Israel to immediately cease such hostile practices against civilians, in addition to calling on the Security Council to assume greater responsibility regarding this issue and urging all parties concerned to end the siege and to provide basic human needs for Palestinians.
– Working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace for the Middle East according to relevant resolution of international law, the “land –for- peace” formula , and the Madrid term of reference in order to guarantee the restoration of legitimate Arab rights , the return of Palestinian refugee to their homeland, establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan to the June 4th 1967 line, and the Israeli withdrawal from all remaining occupied Lebanese territories.
-Affirming that the joint Arab will to propose the Arab peace initiative is linked to Israel carrying out its commitments within the framework of international term of reference for peace.
-Making a thorough evaluation and revision of present Arab strategy regarding efforts to revive the peace in order to decide on the next move in light of such evaluation.
-Expressing support and appreciation for the efforts under the leadership of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the initiative for achieving Palestinian national reconciliation, affirming Palestinian unity and the integrity of Palestine’s land and people, in addition to continuing efforts and coordination with the Arab League Secretary General to achieve a united position.
-Keeping Iraq’s territorial integrity and unity of its Arab and Islamic identity outlining the necessity of complete national reconciliation, quick withdrawal of foreign forces, guaranteeing its stability, security and full sovereignty.
Calling on our brothers in Iraq to immediately stop the shedding of blood to preserve the lives of innocent citizens and their property as well as the adoption of dialogue to end differences and to reach national consensus and unity. -Commitment to the Arab initiative to help Lebanon end of its crisis, supporting current efforts by the Arab League Secretary General to encourage Lebanese parties reach a consensus among themselves to cope with this predicament to preserve the country’s unity, stability and general prosperity.
-Stressing Arab solidarity with Syria regarding the so-called Syria Accountability Act as a violation of the international law and UN resolutions.
-Encouraging the current contacts between the United Arab Emirates and Iran in order to solve the issue regarding the UAE’s three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa through legal procedures and peaceful means so that the UAE can restore its islands and preserve fraternal Arab-Iranian relations means of developing them.
-Stressing Sudan’s territorial integrity and stability, its rejection of foreign intervention in its internal affairs, supporting efforts to implement the ongoing peace agreement, dealing with Darfur, and calling on all regional and international parties to help the Sudanese government establish peace and to restore security and stability in the province.
-Stressing Somali’s unity, sovereignty and stability, renewing support of national reconciliation and helping the country overcome the current crisis.
-Stressing a desire for national unity of the Republic of the United Comoros Islands, its territorial integrity and support all efforts To develop the country.
-The mounting attack on Islam and the phenomenon of anti- Islamism have been a source of great concern, particularly as we see anti- Islam abuse on the rise in countries marked by diversity.
This sharp polarization necessitates greater work to narrow the gap which has been widening among cultures and civilizations. Out of this, cooperation between the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other relevant organizations is a matter of importance in order to confront these phenomena.
-Condemning and combating it to eliminate terrorism and remove its sources, in addition to denouncing attempts to link terrorism to Arabs and Muslims, and renewing calls for holding an international conference supervised by the UN to define terrorism, identify its causes, and differentiate between it and peoples’ right to resist occupation.
-Working to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, mainly nuclear weapons, and calling on the international community to force Israel to join the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in addition to affirming nations’ right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes according to the standards and regulations of IAEA.