The Arab Economic Summit,
19-20 January 2009,
State of Kuwait

Speech of
His Excellency President Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
In the Opening Session
Of the Arab Economic, Developmental and Social Summit

His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Their Majesties, Highnesses, and Excellencies

Secretary General of the Arab League

Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to my brother His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait and his brotherly people for hosting this important economic summit, looking forward to achieve what we hope for our countries, peoples and nation.


This is the first Arab summit that tackles the issues of economy and development, and their relevant social dimensions. These are very important issues that are totally relevant to our Arab world and its future.


This summit is held within a very sever international crises that hits the world economy, taking it to a state of doldrums, threatening our achievements of economic growth, social and human development. This crises does not differentiate between rich or poor countries, and has difficult times and dangerous consequences on our area, and others worldwide.


This summit is also being held while our Arab world passes a very difficult phase, and is subject to many dangers and challenges, between the Israeli aggression on Gaza and its consequences, the separation on the Palestinian arena and its negative effects, and what the Arab arena witnesses of separation, and the internal and external attempts to play roles and impose domination, trading in the suffering of the Palestinian people and its issue, and paying no interest for the souls of its martyrs and the shed blood of its sons, and even continue to weaken the Arab unity.


The crises of Gaza shocked the consciousness of the world, with the martyrs and victims of the Israeli aggression and the wide spread destruction it caused to the infrastructure and daily life services.


This crises was a test for our mutual Arab work. It revealed a lot of its faults, contradictions and disadvantages, and made it clear, unfortunately that we are separate and scattered.


It was logical that we support Gaza seriously, to comprehend the danger of the aggression and how furious it is, to attempt to stop it, and to compensate for its humanitarian consequences, away from hollow slogans.


I hoped that our efforts integrate, and to be all united in one Arab situation that understands the interests of the Palestinian people above those of the different Palestinian groups, to put our priority in stopping the aggression and bloodshed and to place this all above narrow Arab differences and interests, away from the campaigns of aspersion.


Egypt has sponsored the Palestinian case along sixty years with liability and honesty, and this role was due to its position and abilities not like some other parties who seek to play roles.


It is unfortunate that some people divide Arabs between moderate countries and objection countries. It is like we did not learn from the mistakes of the past and the lessons of the near history, as if we are taking the Arab world thirty years back. Is it a return to the refusal front of the seventies of the past centuries? did not we unanimously agree in Beirut to adopt an Arab peace initiative for comprehensive and just peace?


It is shameful to allow the crises of Gaza to be used for penetrating our Arab world by external powers looking for domination and trading in the lives and blood of the Palestinians.


Anyhow, Egypt is as it has always been, elevated above minor issues, and is never subject to blackmail. Thanks to Allah, I come to this summit after Egypt has managed to reach an agreement to stop the blood shed, cease the file, and open the door for the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, and regain quite in Gaza for opening its crossing points and removing blockade imposed on it.


Brothers and Sisters,

The crises of Gaza revealed the current situation of the Arab world. We have to confess the need for a clear stand and being frank with ourselves, to deeply consider the conditions prevailing in our Arab world and to work hard for reaching a unified situation.


The Arab/Arab relations is not in a perfect condition. Relations between brothers should be built on frankness and clarity, and the complete match between words and action. There is no place in such relations for being indirect or insulting others, there is no place for calling others cheaters or for bad words or action. This takes our Arab world back not pushes it forward.


The Egyptian situation was strong and clear since the first day of aggression against Gaza, despite the wrongs of some people and their ignoring of well known facts and other unknown ones.


You all know the efforts exerted by Egypt to extend cease fire, and its warning that the refusal of the Palestinian groups of such action was an open invitation for Israel to start aggression, and to even pretend that it protects itself from the rockets of resistance.


You all know the efforts exerted by Egypt to achieve Palestinian unity. Some people interred to make our efforts fail, and to keep the current separation to nullify the legality of the Palestinian authority and shift it to other groups.


Debate continued regarding the opening of Rafah crossing point, ignoring the fact that I ordered its opening since the first day of aggression, and it is still open for help, and medical assistance and wounded people till this moment. This debate continued ignoring that the said crossing point was not part of Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza, and that I was the one who ordered the establishment of this crossing point to be a gate for the strip to Egypt and from it, in addition to the other six crossing points between Gaza and Israel.


On the contrary to what was absent in the mind of some people, Egypt was fully comprehending that Gaza is not as Israel said a freed land, just to get rid of its legal and political liability as an occupying force. This should make us recall the Israeli say of "Gaza first" and the concept of the Jordanian choice, both of which are, to Egypt and to us all, occupied lands, upon which the Palestinian state shall be established, sooner or later.


Some people tried to put Egypt in confrontation with the resistance. To those, I say that the Palestinian liberation organization started from Cairo, and Egypt supported its figures and groups for a long time. We support the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation, and respect the Palestinian resistance, but we believe that resistance, like war, as an option should be subject to the calculations of profits and losses, and should be responsible before its people, and be judged pursuant to the gains and losses it achieves, or the suffering it causes.


There are resistant groups that acknowledge that the current balance of powers is clearly in the side of Israel, and calls for waiting till the existence of a more just international system, even if this requires long decades. Is this logical? Can the suffering of the Palestinian people wait for such a long time? And can they wait while their occupied lands are cut day after day? And till what time shall we allow the Palestinian issue to be the issue of lost opportunities?


We have seen since the first day of aggression that Gaza does not need condemnation as much as it needs a quick practical movement to stop the Israeli aggression and stop the blood shedding. Egypt introduced the only initiative to get out of the crises, in the absence of any other initiatives and in confrontation of the procrastination of the Security Council. Egypt moved to host the humanitarian consequences of our people in Gaza, and sent more than 3000 tons of food and medicine from Rafah and Al-Oja crossing points since the beginning of the aggression till date.


We have to be very careful not to shorten the Palestinian issue to that of Gaza only, and to shorten the issue of Gaza to that of opening the crossing points only, and to shorten the seven crossing points by concentrating only on that of Rafah. The Palestinian case is much larger. It is the issue of a people that is suffering since 1948, looking forward to end its crises and to get rid of the occupation and establish its independent state. History shall judge its leaders, and shall judge us all with how much we take it closer or far from such legal anticipation.


Egypt shall continue its efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian unity between the authority and the groups, without which there will be no stability, reconstruction and ending the blockade of Gaza.


For this, we shall exert every possible effort. If unity is achieved, this will be good for the Palestinian people and their case, and if they did not respond we are telling them that God helps those who help themselves, and Egypt shall continue to open its arms for you, as a shelter, and as a sincere and effective effort to support your case.


Dear Brothers and Arab Leaders,

I great the resistance of the Palestinian people in Gaza, and lay to Allah the loss of its martyrs, and I say to our people in the strip that Egypt shall remain beside you in your crises. We shall save no effort till the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, the reopening of the crossing points and removing the blockade. We shall continue to open Rafah crossing point before your wounded and before the emergent assistances, and shall call for an international conference for rebuilding what the aggression destroyed.


I say to Israel, the tyrant power shall not defeat resistance, and shall not impose subjection on the Palestinian people. I say to its leaders that the security of your people shall be achieved via peace and no via airplanes and tanks, and that the Palestinian case shall be the victorious one at the end, and that the destiny of the occupation is to be removed.


I say to the international community, and particularly the major powers, that the peace process is marching in its place for several years. They have to shoulder their liabilities of ending the occupation, seriously and without delay. I say to them that Arabs are seekers of a just and integral peace that leads to the establishment of the independent state of Palestine, and the liberation of all the occupied Arab territories. I say that the peace of the Middle East is a must that does not bear waiting any longer, and that the delay of peace increases the feelings of hatred toward Israel by our peoples, and feelings of anger toward those who talk about peace but do not combine words with action. I say to them that we have introduced the Arab Peace Initiative seven years ago, and it is time to respond to it and deal with it, and to be take seriously by Israel and major powers.


Your Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies,

Egypt has always embosomed, and is still embosoming, the issues of its nation, sincerely and honestly, and supported all aspects of the mutual Arab work, and shall continue to do so.


I come to this summit, strongly believing that the current Arab situation with all its divisions, differences and pivots, should be changed. I am quite sure that the Arab differences, whatever they are, are not beyond solution via sincere efforts and strong will as they are but differences amongst brothers.


Egypt shall, as it has done with its brothers for long decades, exert its utmost efforts to settle the current Arab differences and put an end to them, so that we all meet on mutual interests, and not be separated again.


I am confident that we shall at the end side our Arab entity, our joint goals, and out mutual interests, and that the future of our Arab world shall, God wills, be better than its current condition.


I reiterate my greetings to my brother His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, and wish that this summit shall be a good start for putting our mutual Arab work on a new track, and pushing it forward.


Thank you,


Asalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu


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