Arab countries should adopt a unified and consensus-based strategy to protect pan-Arab security and face the existential threat of terrorism, analysts and military experts said on Sunday.
The Arab countries have been under unprecedented level of security threats from terrorism, armed militants, and outside interference in domestic affairs.
Therefore, it is necessary for them to develop a multi-level strategy to protect their nationals from extremist ideologies and put an end to the violence sweeping through the region.
In light of the rapidly growing developments in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen and the recent gains by the Islamic State (IS) group and other al-Qaida-link armed groups in several Arab states, there is a dire need for awakening among the Arab states, they said.
The experts said a recent decision by the Arab leaders at the 26th Arab League Summit to form a joint Arab military force is a step in the right direction to stand up to these threats.
“Terrorism is harming majority of the Arab states and terrorist ideologies are using all tools to recruit Jihadists to realize their schemes. If Arab states face this threat individually, they will fail,” Fayez Dweiri, a retired major general in the Jordan army and a military analyst, told Xinhia in an interview this week.
“Arabs need to work together to address this threat. They need to coordinate and intensify their efforts in this respect,” Dweiri added.
Raed Omari, an Amman-based political, said Arab states need to overcome their differences to be able to form an effective joint military force.
“The issue of pan-Arab security should be on top of priorities of Arab states as unorganized efforts to combat terrorism will not yield fruitful results. Terrorism is crossing borders and facing terrorism and extremism should not only be militarily but there is also a need to face such ideologies with counter ideologies and socio-economic reforms,” Omari told Xinhua.
The experts also stressed that fighting terrorism is crucial to rebuild many of the war-torn Arab states and restore their security and stability.
They believed that eradicating such extremist groups is key to increase Arab states’ oil revenues from, which represent the main source of incomes for many of the Arab states.
The experts, however, said the global oil price slump is not solely due to oversupply by some oil-producing countries, but it is partially politicized.
“Some countries in the region in collaboration with the U.S. are deliberately working on reducing oil prices to place pressure on Iran and to put an end to its influence in the region by reducing its oil revenues. In addition, there are attempts to place pressure on Russia as well in this regard,” economist Hosam Ayesh told Xinhua.
Attempts to keep prices of oil low are also part of fighting the Islamic State, which controlled several oil fields in Syria and Iraq and is selling oil to generate revenues to fund its operations, the experts said.
“This is ironic as the ongoing violence in the region is expected to lead to an increase in oil prices,” said Ayesh.
This trend of oil prices, however, is not expected to continue on the long-term.
“Prices of oil is expected to fluctuate during the next few months and they will not witness any significant increase… this decline in prices will be temporary and towards the end of the year and the more terrorist groups are destroyed the higher oil prices will be,” Ayesh added. Enditem