Can the Arab world regain what it lost?
In an article in Al-Ahram, Mustafa El-Feki, chairman of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee argues that “over the years, the Arab world has let India down even though the Asian giant championed the Palestinian cause”. He cites five reasons why the Arab world ‘lost’ India: viewing the India-Pakistan conflict through a religious prism, denying India membership of the OIC, improved India-US relations, India’s suspicion of the rise of radical Islam and finally, the Arab world’s inability to maintain balanced relations with both India and Pakistan.
We have lost India so far for no good reason, I should say. We have failed to stay close to an industrially advanced state, one with nuclear and space capabilities. We have failed to do so although there is a clear ethnic resemblance between the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the people in our Arab world. It is time we mend this error. It is time to bring Arab countries closer to both India and Pakistan, rather than take one side or keep our distance altogether. I believe the Arabs have only themselves to blame for India’s change of heart on the Palestinian question. [Al-Ahram via Intellibriefs]
El-Feki calls for the Arab League to ‘start a coordinated effort to improve Arab links with India’. The Arab League would do well to heed this advice and not only because of the Palestinian issue.