debkafile: Arab summit ending in Riyadh strengthens radical Iran and Syria and recognizes Palestinian Hamas
The conference ending Thursday, March 29, ended the isolation of the two Middle East governments backing anti-US fighting elements in Iraq, fomenting Hizballah’s war effort against Israel and aiding Palestinian terror.
The Arab front, portrayed by American and Israeli policy-makers as an effective “moderate” barrier against Iranian expansionism and nuclear aspirations, jumped aboard the radical bandwagon.
A large Iranian delegation, led by foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, was welcomed as honored guests by the Riyadh conference. None of the Arab rulers mentioned, let alone castigated, Tehran’s seizure of 15 British navy personnel five days earlier.
Saudi King Abdullah publicly buried the hatchet with Syrian president Bashar Assad and announced to general acclaim that the next Arab League summit would be held in Damascus. Syria’s misdeeds with regard to Lebanon were glossed over.
The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, flanked by Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, demanded that Israel accept the resurrected Saudi “peace plan” as it is, or risk war. He also called for an Arab panel led by Saudi Arabia to work with the Middle East Quartet on a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. No room was left for an active Israeli role in the take-it-or-leave-it “peace process.”
The end-product of the Arab summit of 2007 was the collapse of the so-called “moderate Arab front” on which the Bush administration and Olmert government had banked heavily. The line emerging from the conference was strongly anti-American and anti-Israel.
Its host, Abdullah, publicly lambasted the US deployment in Iraq as “illegitimate foreign occupation.” The Saudi monarch also set up a meeting between the Iranian delegation and the two Palestinian leaders to explore Saudi-Iranian-Palestinian cooperation for reconstruction in the Palestinian Authority.
Thus did Iranian arming of Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including the governing Hamas, win the blessing of the “moderate” Saudi ruler and the Arab consensus.