One moderate Arab vs Arabism’s racism
‘Arabs, Israel should sit together,’ says Bahrain minister
Web posted at: 10/2/2008 1:35:54
Source ::: AFP
dubai • The foreign minister of staunch US ally Bahrain has called for the creation of a regional grouping of Arab states with historic foe Israel, as well as Iran and Turkey, a newspaper reported yesterday.
“Israel, Iran, Turkey and Arab states should sit together in one organisation,” Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al Khalifa was quoted in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat as saying.
“Aren’t we all members of a global organisation called the United Nations? Why not (come together) on a regional basis? This is the only way to solve our problems. There’s no other way to solve them, now or in 200 years.”
Al Hayat, which interviewed the Bahraini chief diplomat in New York, said he had proposed the establishment of a regional bloc in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Bahrain’s crown prince, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, met Israeli officials during World Economic Forum summits in 2000 and 2003, while Sheikh Khaled met Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni at the UN last year.
But political groupings in Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni dynasty and has a Shia majority, resist any attempt at normalisation of ties with Israel.
“Why don’t we sit together even if we disagree, even if we don’t recognise each other? Let’s be in a single organisation in order to overcome the difficult stage through which the Middle East is passing — a stage that remains hostage to the past,” Sheikh Khaled told Al Hayat, referring to the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Arabism’s Racism reaction
Bahrain activists slam call for grouping of Arabs, Israel
PLAN SLAMMED: Lawmakers and opposition activists in Bahrain have slammed foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa (pictured) for calling for a regional bloc. (AFP)
Lawmakers and opposition activists in Bahrain on Thursday slammed the foreign minister of the Gulf state, a staunch US ally, after he called for a regional grouping of Arabs and historic foe Israel.