For the first time in years, the Arab world seems optimistic about peace, amid increasing hopes, and signs, that we may soon see the end of the remaining wars in the region — Syria, Libya and Yemen.
Since the Arab Spring protests that took place 10 years ago, a number of civil wars have broken out in our region, costing the Arabs millions of deaths and injuries, and millions more people uprooted from their towns and villages, or forced all together to seek refuge in another country.
These conflicts have also led to the rise of so many terrorist groups (dozens, possibly hundreds as in the case of Syria) that have wreaked havoc in many countries and lit the flame of sectarian conflicts wars in more than one country.
The Houthi group, which overthrew the Yemeni legitimate government late 2014, should seize this opportunity to end the war. They also must immediately stop their terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia southern areas
We also witnessed unprecedented humanitarian crises (United Nations described them as catastrophic) including famine in more than one country. Moreover, millions of children and youth were denied access to formal education thereby jeopardising the future of at least one full generation and their societies.
Today, we finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. The Syrian war seems to be winding down. In few weeks, the presidential election takes place. It is not likely to be entirely fair and transparent, but it may lead the regime to feel secure and open to resuming the political dialogue with the opposition, which is aimed at drafting a new constitution.
Wide international support
In Libya, the ceasefire agreement signed last October seems to be holding and the new government, which has recently won the parliament’s vote of confidence says to be determined to achieve its two main tasks mandated by the agreement: holding elections, and getting rid of the mercenaries and foreign fighters, a demand that has the wide support of the international community.
In his interview with the Saudi TV last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman raised the hopes and added to the momentum of peace in the region as he called on Iran- backed Al Houthi group to seize the unique opportunity to end the war in Yemen, offered by the Saudi initiative and the renewed efforts of the United States and the UN to find a political solution.
Certainly, Saudi Arabia will not tolerate the presence of armed militias along its borders, he said, but called on Al Houthis to “sit at the negotiating table” to find solutions that could “assure the rights of the people of Yemen and also the interests of the region”. Prince Mohammed discussed his offer with the US envoy for Yemen on Thursday.
The Houthi group, which overthrew the Yemeni legitimate government late 2014, should seize this opportunity to end the war. They also must immediately stop their terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia southern areas.
There is a momentum in the region to push the cause of peace and end conflicts and put the focus back squarely on development and economic prosperity. We hope it become a reality, very soon.