Since the Abraham Accords, several Arab countries have normalized their relations with Israel. What weaken the existence of the Arab League, formerly united behind Palestine.
The North African, Arab and international press focused on the non-appearance of King Mohammed VI at the top of the Arab League which has been taking place since yesterday in Algiers. But other absences are, perhaps, more noticed by observers: in addition to that of King Abdullah II of Jordan, it is the absences of the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates that have undermined the success of the Algerian summit. Neither Mohammed Ben Salmane Ben Abdelaziz Al Saoud nor Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyane deigned to go to Algiers.
The Arab League summit is quite unprecedented. Because, due to the Covid-19 pandemic in particular, the countries of the organization had not met since March 2019. The Abraham Accords, which symbolize among other things the normalization of relations between several Arab countries and Israel, n had not yet been signed at the time. Suffice to say that the reunion could have been tense, if the leaders of the 22 countries of the Arab League had accepted the invitation of Algeria, since it is question of the Palestinian cause during this summit.
If Abdel Fattah al-Sissi was present at the opening of the Algerian summit - Egypt recognized Israel after the Camp David agreements of 1978 - Jordan, which also recognized the existence of the Jewish state, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, both signatories of the Abraham Accords, are absent subscribers. Saudi Arabia has never taken the plunge but once again stands behind MBZ's decisions. Finally, the King of Morocco, who has entered into security cooperation with Israel, played cat and mouse with the Algerian president to finally make his absence the main event of the summit.
Front Palestinian cause?
And if it has long been considered that Western Sahara was the issue of the Algerian-Moroccan reunion, it is in reality normalization with Israel that could have been the stumbling block between the two countries. Because Algiers is undoubtedly the most fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause, alongside Tunis. And among the 22 members of the Arab League, there is the presence of the Palestinian Authority.
This Tuesday, in Algiers, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, asked that the Arab League participate in ending "the persistent suffering" in Palestine and considered that "peace must advance and the occupation must end". . He also asked that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in financial crisis, be helped by members of the organization.
The other discussions on Palestine, they will not give much, whatever happens, the fault of the absences of the signatory countries of the Abraham Accords. “In such a political configuration, Palestine is no longer a priority. Admittedly, the cause remains very powerful as a symbol, but it often serves as a cover to serve an objective, a program, even a posture”, summarizes Abed Charef, Algerian writer and columnist, in Middle East Eye. The subject of union that was once support for the Palestinian cause is now only an old memory. Does the Arab League, under these conditions, still have a future?