|Bahrain calls for regional grouping to solve Middle East conflict|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 01 October 2008 05:54|
The Foreign Minister of Bahrain has called for a grouping of Middle Eastern states to be set up, to provide a forum in which regional disputes such as the Middle East conflict and the Iranian nuclear crisis could be resolved. Sheik Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa made the comments during an interview with the Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat. The statement, which is likely to be rejected by extreme Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, is one of the first to be made publicly by an Arab state.
Quote: "Asked by al-Hayat if it would include Israel, he replied, "with Israel, Turkey, Iran and Arab countries. Let them all sit together in one group... This is the only path to solve our problems." "Why don't we all sit together even if we have differences and even if we don't recognize each other? Why not become one organization to overcome this difficult phase?" the paper quoted him as saying. Few Arab governments are likely to accept a permanent regional forum with Israel. When the first Israeli-Palestinian peace deals were reached in the 1990s, Arab countries quickly quashed proposals that were floated that Israel be allowed to join the Arab League. Iran, which rejects the peace process with Israel, is even less likely to join a regional block with it.
The official consensus adopted by the Arab League, most recently in the form of the Saudi Initiative, is that Arab states will only offer Israel a normalization in relations once it withdraws from all territory captured during the Six Day War and accepts the influx of millions of Arab 'refugees' into their land. Arab states did express concern that their co-operation with Israel in the Union for the Mediterranean could be perceived as a normalization of relations. But despite that fact most Arab states endorsed French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal. Perhaps the reason for that acceptance was that Sunni Islamic states fear the growing influence of Shi'ite Iran in the region, and are seeking the security and stability offered by the European Union. And as tensions continue to increase between Iran and the West over the nuclear crisis, it seems that Arab states are fearing the possibility of another regional conflict breaking out in the not too distant future.
I don't know whether Bahrain's call will be heeded, or whether the European Union will thrust its vision for the Union for the Mediterranean upon the region. But clearly we are living in the days in which Israel and its neighbours are seeking "peace and safety", 1st Thessalonians 5:3. And we know that once peace will be made, then sudden destruction will come upon them without any prior warning, and they shall not escape. You see, it is not possible to know true peace without knowing the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7). He was the One that Job longed for Who could bring both God and man together (Job 9:33). Jesus Christ made it possible for you to know peace with God through His sacrifice upon the cross (Colossians 1:20). He bore God's punishment for your sins, and all who believe on Him for salvation can have their sins forgiven, and have everlasting life in heaven. Why don't you trust Him for salvation today? He will not turn you away.
Source YNet News