Rami Khouri on the Arab summit

Four Arab Worlds Meet in Baghdad this Week
Agence Global
March 28, 2012
Commentary by: Rami Khouri, senior fellow with the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut
Topic: Arab summit

“DUBAI — I have been following the deliberations of Arab summit meetings for my entire adult life, and still remain dubious about the value of such gatherings. The summit taking place this week in Baghdad seems no different — but the Arab world itself is very different. The gathering reminds us that historic transformations are taking place across the region — while some countries remain static.

Writing from Dubai this week, I am reminded that there is no such thing as “the Arab world” whose leaders now meet in Baghdad. We have four Arab worlds that operate at different levels of legitimacy and efficacy, so evident when one travels between the Levant, Egypt and the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia. The four Arab worlds also share three principal issues that are being contested or are in the midst of change.”

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