By Corinna Barnard
After the three-summit confluence in Mecca, As`ad AbuKhalil assesses the consistent role of such gatherings as factories of rhetoric.
By As`ad AbuKhalil
Special to Consortium News
As soon as the news emerged three weeks ago that two oil installations in Saudi Arabia were hit, and oil tankers were attacked in the United Arab Emirates, the Saudi regime resorted to its available diplomatic weapon: summoning Arab despots and the leaders of Islamic countries to Mecca.
Three summits (Gulf, Arab and Islamic) were held in tandem in an effort to demonstrate solidarity with the Saudi regime. It quickly registered on Arab social media, (which consistently falls outside the coverage of all western correspondents who lack knowledge of Arabic) that the Saudi regime expressed more concern for oil installations than for the lives of Palestinians who are shot at weekly by Israeli occupation forces.
Arab summits became formal intergovernmental affairs in 1964 during the days of Eyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Prior to 1964, Arab leaders met often, but rather informally…