THE BAGHDAD SUMMIT AND SADAT
Sadat is becoming more and more isolated and doesn't represent anybody but himself. The Arab Summit of Baghdad, which met from 2-5 November 1978, decided no to support his separate peace efforts. The twenty-one Arab states of the Arab League convened for the first time without Egypt. At this conference, Sadat was criticized and condemned for his single-handed "peace" initiative and the results of the Camp David accords. Sanctions against Sadat were agreed upon, in case he signs a separate "peace" accord with the Israeli expansionists.
All the summiteers agreed upon, that the Camp David accords do not fulfil the expectations of the Arabs, nor fulfil the demands and aspirations of the Palestinian People. Concerning the Palestinian part of the Camp David accords, there was a unanimous stand to refuse those results and to support the continuity of the Palestinian armed resistance against the Israeli occupation. Differences, which arose at the beginning of the conference on the issue of the condemnation of Sadat, were settled after the refusal of Sadat to receive the delegation sent to him by the Summit. Consequently, the conference restored unity and adopted unanimous decisions in a fraternal atmosphere. The conference of Baghdad can be considered as the most successful Arab summit ever.
The Baghdad Summit can be seen as an Arab demonstration against the US peace plan in the region. It is a blow to the Camp David initiative of President Carter who hoped that other Arabs, mainly King Hussein, would join the talks. The US will have to take into consideration this Arab stand and try to exert more pressure on its Israeli allies in order to stop their expansionist policy in the region. The US has to choose between their real and oil interests in the Arab world and the expansionist policy of Israel. The Arabs cannot be treated by the US and their Israeli allies the way colonialism used to treat Red Indians or native South Africans.
The PLO was given a bigger role at the conference. The Summit reaffirmed the role of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian People, and rejected the self-rule project in the occupied territories. The Summit stressed upon the need of fulfilling the PLO's demands to establish an independent Palestinian state, and of an unconditional Israeli withdrawal from the Arab and Palestinian occupied territories. The funds allocated to the PLO are to be utilized to continue and stop up Palestinian armed resistance against the Israeli occupation.
The Ninth Arab Summit of Baghdad was once again a Palestinian summit. It showed the whole world that the Palestine question still plays a central role in current Arab history. Palestine is still the momentum which moves the Arab sentiments and policies.
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Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"
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