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Home > News > Report

Conference discusses 'new West Asia'

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | March 13, 2007 16:04 IST
Last Updated: March 13, 2007 16:30 IST

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"This conference is an attempt to mobilise the constituency of conscience throughout the world at this juncture of history," said Clovis Maksoud, intellectual and editor of Al Ahram, a weekly published out of Egypt, in the inaugural session of the three-day conference on West Asia in New Delhi on March 12.

The quest for a 'new West Asia' is being deliberated in the International Conference on War, Imperialism and Resistance organised by a committee of like-minded people who are opposed to 'US imperialism'.

The committee includes distinguished names like Kuldip Nayyar, M K Bhadrakumar, Mehmood Madani, Mushirul Hasan, N Ram, Ram Vilas Paswan, Seema Mustafa, Shahid Siddiqi and Vishnu Bhagwat amongst others.

The first of its kind conference is fully supported by the Communist Party of India-Marxist and also by India Arab Cultural Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia and others.

In the inauguration session it was evidently clear that the 'US-Israel axis' and their plans in West Asia will be fought fiercely all over world.

The packed audience, which included CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat and a few diplomats from the Arab world, heard the views of the Hezbollah -- the Lebanon-based Shia Islamic militant organisation.

Dr Ali Fayyad, while airing the views of Hezbollah, spoke with passion that the new West Asia is ready to unfold.

Other participants in the conference are Michel Warschawski (Israel), Jamal Jumma (Palestine), Fawwaz Traboulsi (Lebanon), Mohsen Saleh, Kamal Majid (Iraq), Geroge Jabbour (Syria ), Ali Atassi (Syria), Alan Hart (UK ) and Ayesha Siddiqa (Pakistan).

Maksoud, who was a friend of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, said, "We have experienced how, since 9/11, the US has lost the art of persuasion and has became addicted to the policy of dictation. This explains, to a very large extent, the amount of resentment that has accumulated. It has also stimulated the desire among many people of the world, including in India, to translate or re-translate the policy of non-alignment that has been pioneered by India."

While talking about violence and terrorism he said, "Hatred is the rupture of dialogue and it provokes the cult of death."

Maksoud said anger seeks to re-engage, anger makes you argue and that terrorism is a cult of death but resistance seeks to harness all options. He emphasised the importance negotiations and added that the militancy is the option of last resort.

He said, "We are seeking India's help in building the Arab future. Arabs are also looking for the symbolic, political, economical and strategic weight of India behind the forces of liberation in the Arab world."

He said India can help in the struggle for the peace and justice that has eluded Arabs. He insisted that India and Arab world need to re-focus their friendship in the changing world.