In an interview with the Saudi newspaper Okaz, His Majesty King Abdullah praised the agenda and timing of the upcoming extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca, at the invitation of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.
The summit will delve into developments in the region, and, as the monarch said, is evidence of the “keenness of the king (of Saudi Arabia) to bring together all Arabs and Muslims at these critical circumstances Arabs and Muslims are going through.
“Holding the summit in the heart of Mecca during the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan sends important signals,” said the king.
It is indeed a sign that things cannot suffer delay, that the regional issues, particularly the Syrian crisis, need to be tackled with a view to arriving at solutions, and soon.
The Mecca meeting comes after many attempts to bring the situation in Syria under control, including going to the U.N. Security Council.
With all efforts failed, Riyadh is pinning hope on the Muslim nation to come up with a new approach to the Syrian quagmire that may succeed where all other efforts failed.
Invitation was also extended to Tehran to attend this Islamic meeting, out of recognition that Iran is a major actor in the making and solving of the Syrian crisis, now well into its 17th month.
Damascus’ friends and allies can indeed play a critical role in ending the bloodshed and the perpetration of crimes in Syria, if they so wish.
If this last-ditch effort also fails because some powers would rather put their narrow interests ahead of the lives and rights of the Syria people, the situation will certainly deteriorate, and more death and destruction will be sown in Syria. The situation in Syria is particularly worrisome, for the country is a close neighbor and its troubles can easily spill over into the kingdom.
The Jordan Times, Amman, Aug. 17