Arab Unity

The European Model

I believe that we have the possibility of getting closer to each other simply because the world has changed. Europe is an example in this regard and maybe this is a way to do it. We also need to divert our focus on individuals and instead concern ourselves with populations and states. Focus on a valuable and mutual cooperation between the countries, a cooperation which can replace, for example, the theme of Arab unity, which does not exist anymore.

Interview with Morgenavisen Jyllandsposten newspaper
April 26, 1998


I believe things will not remain as they are now, and that the Arab world will be no less, in terms of composition and relationships, than the European Union and the other countries that witnessed wars and tragedies (and yet have proven the benefits) that can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation. There are dozens of reasons for us to follow the experience of the Europeans and see it materialize in reality here.

Interview with Radio Monte Carlo
March 2, 1998


I believe that the Arab world is never going to be a united nation, as had been hoped in the Arab Revolt, but something in a more modern context, similar to Europe. It is the only way. We have developed within each part of the Arab world our own identities, and unity in the future must be a unity of sovereign equals.

Interview with Milton Viorst
“The Hashemite Option”
Chapter 10 of In the Shadow of the Prophet, 1998


The dream that I have nurtured for many years is at least to see our Arab world embarking on a similar experience such as you [Europeans] have lived through, and are living through . . . regardless of systems of government or the size of countries, the cooperation that has grown between you. Maybe one day we can see an Arab Parliament similar to the European Parliament, where people can together work and attain the better future that is their right. Then, true peace in that region would be within our grasp.

Address to the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies
July 15, 1993


Look at Europe. We have seen it come closer together. Why is not this the case in our region? Look at the questions of democracy, human rights, and the participation of people in shaping their future. We feel that the Arab world should progress along this line.

Interview with French Television 3
May 16, 1993


I certainly see, maybe as a dream at this stage, the kind of condition that exists in Europe, with all the turmoil that Europe went through this century, where the system of government, be it monarchy or republic, doesn’t make any difference. Something along these lines should be possible in the Arab world.

Interview with Associated Press
May 1, 1993


We have been firm advocates of the view that such disputes should be settled within the Arab framework; indeed we are advocates of doing away with borders among the Arab states. Otherwise, what meaning is there to the concept of unity and where are its champions and proponents? How could Europe unite in an atmosphere of trust, cooperation and mutual respect, whilst we stand by without attempting to achieve something similar?

Address to the Royal Staff and Command College
November 23, 1992


I have called for reviving Arab economic integration, especially in these circumstances in which various world regions have found acceptable formulae for cooperation and useful integration. We Arabs have added reasons to unify our regional economies particularly since we have the common denominators of history, religion, language, heritage and destiny and it is important to activate these components.

Others have accomplished a lot more with less common elements. Europeans, for example, have found a civilized formula to interact in spite of the lack of harmony among their nations in terms of language, history and culture, and in spite of numerous memories of conflict and antagonism.

Address to the Comprehensive Development Conference
November 28, 1988


In surveying contemporary tendencies, it becomes clear that the affirmation of national identity does not contradict the attainment of unitary institutional formats that can enjoin Arabs as a whole. There are living examples within our Arab homeland that attest to this, as there are living examples in foreign regions. Foremost among them is the Europe an Community, which now seeks to realize European political unity, having successfully completed the process of economic complementarity among its members. It is well known that the bonds linking the Arabs are far greater than those linking European nations.

Address to the Nation
July 31, 1988