Posted by: Administrator | 2 May, 2007

President at 19th Arab League Summit

President Musharraf’s Address at 19th Arab League Summit

28 March 2007

Your Majesty Khadim Herman-al-Sharifan King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Excellencies, dear brothers: I am indeed honoured to be invited on this important Arab League Summit in Riyadh. It is a special privilege to be able to share my views with this very distinguished assembly of my brothers and leaders of the Arab world. I am grateful to Khadim-ul-Herman-al-Sharifan His Majesty King Abdullah, the government and people of brotherly Saudi Arabia for their very warm and gracious hospitality. I wish our brothers at this Summit every success in taking important decisions to address the common challenges and difficulties that confront the Middle East. Your challenges are our challenges. Your success in addressing them is our success. Peace and security in the Middle East is indeed fundamental to interests and aspirations of the entire Muslim Ummah.

The tragedies of Palestine and Iraq cause the same anguish and anger in our homes as they do in your home. Despite the vast diversity of culture and historical experience, collectively as the Muslim Ummah, all of us Arab and Non- Arab Muslims feel each other’s pain and face similar challenges. The great transformation of the last century also changed the Muslim society.

Large parts of the Muslim Ummah that came under colonial subjugation, gained freedom through their own struggle. But several legacies and disputes from that dark era continue to inflict sufferings and have aggravated with time. They have formed new conflict and new dangers. My dear brothers, in the Middle East peace has remained disturbed for over six decades mainly because of the suffering of the Palestinian and denial of their fundamental right to live in freedom. The aggressive Israeli actions are increasing the volatility of the environment and impeding progress towards the just settlement. The crisis in Iraq has implications far beyond the Iraqi borders. Tensions in the Gulf region are shaping and communist confrontation that could have incalculable consequences globally, regionally and within the Muslim Ummah. We cannot remain helpless spectators, mired in these and other conflicts and crises afflicting the Islamic World. We need to join hands to work for solutions on the basis of fairness, justice and realism. On the larger canvas, apart from the disputes and conflicts Muslim countries are facing new dangers in the rise of extremist and obscurantist thinking and tendencies. Sectarian and ethnic divisions are tearing the fabric of many of our societies and draining our energies needed to ensure progress and development within our countries. Also we must not allow a handful of fringe elements to malign our culture of moderation and our noble religion of peace, tolerance and compassion through their acts of senseless terrorism.

In the West we are witnessing campaigns to defame Islam. There are attempts to destabilize our society through provocation. There are forces scheming to push Islam and the West towards a clash. These dangerous trends must be discouraged and countered to prevent a global disaster. In these grave circumstances we need harmony and peace, understanding reform and reorientation to move instep with modern time and revive our glorious traditions and role for the good and advancement of human stabilization at large. Dear brothers, Majesties, Excellencies, these thoughts and concerns had prompted me to visit several Muslim Capitals some weeks ago. I was encouraged by the discussions I had with my brothers that led to the possibility of seven Muslim countries working jointly to help peace efforts in the Middle East, facilitate solutions to problems, seek reduction of tension and work for harmony in the Entire Islamic World. This initiative is supportive of other endeavors. The seven countries representing a powerful voice from within the Islamic Ummah could develop a mechanism to promote objectives that are important for all of us.

We believe that the issues of Arab World deeply impact on the entire Muslim Ummah and our collective effort will prove to be more effective in addressing them. We are happy to see that since my visit the situation in Palestinian Territory has improved with conciliation between Fatah and Hamas through wise and sincere mediation by Khadim Herman-al-Sharifan. Since then Palestine has a national unity government. We hope that this Summit will help forward towards the goal that you had together stated in the Beirut declaration five years ago. The tragedy of Palestine cannot be allowed to pester indefinitely. We must set the timeline and work with the International Community for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quads as its capital living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Towards this end United States and Europe have a historic responsibility more than any other issue, the failure to find a just solution of Palestine has damaged principles and moral content in contemporary politics.

In South Asia we are working to promote an environment of peaceful and stable Afghanistan in the vital interest of Pakistan and the entire region. We are also addressing the long standing Kashmir dispute for a just settlement which is imperative for a brighter future of our region.

Majesties, my dear brothers, excellencies, we are happy at the Summit meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has had a salutary influence over the Gulf region. It is vital that countries of the region work together to prevent a new conflict that would have very serious consequence for the region, the Islamic countries, the developing countries and beyond on the wider international scene.

Together we can avert this disaster with effective diplomacy. We owe this to our people and their future and to history. The challenges that the Islamic Ummah faces are multiple and require a concerted and united response. We are happy to be a part of the Summit as it represents a unique initiative by your Majesty to reach out to other brotherly Muslim countries who share your concerns and your aspirations. May Allah Almighty help all of us and guide us to meet the hopes and expectations of our people. I thank you all ladies and gentlemen.

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