Dubai: Arab world countries must band together to stave off an anticipated third wave of terrorism, suggested former Iraqi prime minister Dr Ayad Alawi at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai on Wednesday.
Speaking as a panellist at the forum, the survivor of three assassination attempts while holding office in Iraq, Dr Alawi did not identify future terrorist threats or organisations but said a new generation of extremists awaits in the near future.
Dr Alawi was named the first head of the Iraqi interim government in 2004 after the fall of Saddam Hussein and is a founding member of the Iraqi National Accord party.
Speaking at the session ‘State of the Arab World Politics in 2019’, Dr Alawi warned “we’re expecting a third generation of terrorist” following years of Al Qaida and later, Daesh in the region.
“I believe what is coming is greater and will cause great damage to our countries and region,” he said.
The best defence for the region, Dr Alawi said, is a good offence through a coordinated approach to counter terrorism.
He said “there must be an Aranb system that discusses and studies what’s going on,” he said. “This should not be just symbolic, we need to immunise them [countries] and support their role.”
“I think we need to have a new road map for the Arab region,” he said.
“The conflict is between extremism and moderation.”
Panellist Nasser Judeh, former Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan and former Foreign Affairs Minister, told forum attendees that to counter further threats countries in the Arab world need “to look at what is feeding terrorism”.
And, said Judeh, improving social and economic conditions for regional residents will go a long way to countering new movements sworn to disrupting peace in the region.
He lauded the region noting they “have achieved a lot of victories combating terrorism”.
But, he said “there are still sleeping cells, which are existing.”
Panellist Nabil Fahmy, former Foreign Minister of Egypt, said countering terrorism will take an extended effort to produce results.
Fahmy said,:”Terrorism is a cancer that has impacted this region more than any other region, The solution is to raise our voices — what do we want as Arabs?’
To find solutions confronting the Arab region in general, Fahmy said that member countries must rely on themselves by taking proactive measures rather than reactive steps to current crises.