Marzouki predicts era of stability

Marzouki predicts era of stability
Analysis: While the former Tunisian president argues the region is moving towards stability, others warn new social and geographical maps are being drawn upon the region, reports Anwar al-Khatib.
4 min read
12 May, 2015
Arab states are going through a transitional stage, argues Marzouki [AFP]

Former Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki has predicted there will be real stability in the Arab world in the future. 

Marzouki argued the current stage of instability was a transitional phase progressing from one of artificial stability to one of desired genuine stability.

Although the current phase is costly at humanitarian, political, and economic levels, he continued, it is necessary in order to break from a stage of artificial stability to one of real stability.

Iyad Allawi, Iraq's vice-president, has meanwhile warned demographic shifts taking place in many Arab countries could lead to new social and geographical maps being drawn of the region. Terrorism, extremism and sectarianism are among the leading challenges to Arab national entities, social fabrics, achievements, and civilisation itself, he argued.

Allawi also said foreign "meddling" and support given by certain countries to armed groups had exacerbated the various crises.

This had led to the displacement of seven million Syrians and three million Iraqis, he said. In addition, thousands of asylum seekers fleeing terrorism and ethnic cleansing have drowned or starved to death in search of a better life, he argued.

Marzouki's optimism and Allawi's warnings were made this week at the 15th Doha Forum and the Enriching the Middle East's Economic Future Conference. The event was opened by Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, deputy emir of Qatar.

     Peace is the ideal and strategic choice for the Middle East.
- Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar 

The Iraqi vice-president called for more reforms, including the restructuring of regional and international organisations such as the Arab League and the UN.

Allawi said a regional conference should be held with international support to reach new understandings based on mutual interest, respect for sovereignty, and non-interference in other states' affairs.

The former Tunisian president, meanwhile, said Arab regimes were trying to impose artificial stability on their people. This includes Tunisia - where a "horrific model had led to a sort of fake stability, silencing the opposition under the pretext of combatting terrorism".

Marzouki said the Syrian people were paying a high cost for their transition - but had no other choice. He argued there was no room for a return to "old methods" and to the kind of stability imposed by state violence.

"It is strange Egypt is repeating the old model, because it will lead to the same results, and the associated reaction could be even more violent than before," he argued.

Marzouki argued the Arabs have the power to establish real stability based on good governance, an equal distribution of wealth and regional cooperation. He believes Arabs will do their best to confront corruption and fake stability, and will eventually fulfill their hopes through hard work and hope.

In his opening address, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar's prime minister and minister of the interior, called on the UN Security Council to adopt a fair position on the major issues facing the world.

"Peace is the ideal and strategic choice for the Middle East," he said. "The region will not know security and stability until the Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab territories has ended, and the Palestinian people are granted the right to establish an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem along the borders of 1967, according to international and Arab resolutions," he argued.

Thani argued the Security Council had not fulfilled its legal or moral responsibilities to impose peace and security or combat Israeli settlement building, its brutality, arrests or blockades.

He argued the council had shown double standards and undermined the credibility of the international community by failing to put pressure on Israel in the same way it has on other states that engage in less aggressive actions.

The Qatari prime minister said the failure of the Security Council to resolve conflicts had led to the collective failure of the international security system, creating a climate that sustained violence and instability. Such a situation, he said, makes it impossible to achieve security and stability, let alone democracy or human rights.

The Qatari leader blamed the international community, especially the Security Council, for failing to seriously work to end the Syrian crisis and achieve "the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people". 

It had failed, despite the continuing suffering of the Syrians due to the Syrian regime's actions, which he said amounted to "genocide".

The Syrian regime, he continued, has crossed all "red lines" of morality, laws, international norms or principles. It had used toxic gases against innocent civilians in a flagrant violation of international law.

Calling on the international community to increase cooperation to eliminate terrorism, the Qatari prime minister said it was especially important to address the roots of violence, including extreme poverty and inequality, lack of respect for human rights, as well as political and sectarian exclusion.

"If terrorism is confronted through security and military solutions alone, peace, security, and stability will remain impossible," he argued.

The Doha Forum and the Enriching the Middle East's Future Conference is an annual event attended by current and former heads of states and government officials. The event tackles issues of democratic transition, collective security, and regional and international stability, as well as development, security, the economy, business, energy, international cooperation, human rights, and media and communication.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.