Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Angles For Stability Seen In The Islamic World

By Labeed Abdal
This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 31/05/2011 

David Miliband, who served as Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under the government of former prime minister Gordon Brown, urged US President Barack Obama to refrain from playing safe to reshape the political dialogue on world issues, especially after the killing of Osama bin Laden in an article published by the British Times newspaper on May 23, 2011. He believes this is important, considering the contributions of more important players, particularly those currently undergoing real tests like Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Israel, Pakistan and Libya.

Miliband said the issues in South Asia are interlinked with those in China, Russia, Turkey and India; hence, the need for everyone to coordinate their efforts to maintain stability. He suggested the appointment of a Muslim UN mediator to take all this forward.
For Miliband, the next logical step after the killing of bin Laden is to shift focus from the security issues to the economy and energy by strengthening the commitment of the West to forge genuine partnership with the Europeans led by the UK to make a difference in the world. He said this is a significant move, especially after Obama expressed support for the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine.

I think Miliband’s suggestions are important in an area that has become almost ‘numb’ — where nobody believes in any solution. For over 60 years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going back and forth, and it seems to be going nowhere. 
The fascinating and promising part is the call to support Obama’s 1967 borders deal, strengthen the commitment of Europe, and initiate a mediation process backed by the UN to make an actual contribution to the process, which requires a radical step to maintain world peace and security.

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