(MENAFN - Arab News) Symposiums dominated the ongoing Janadriyah festival with an interesting discussion, the third in the series, entitled "Arabs and Iran, Opportunities for Cooperation."
The symposium was headed by Kingdom's Dr. Asaad Al-Shamlan. Its central theme was the Arab-Iranian chances to reach agreements in order to arrive at a level of cooperation all their peoples' desire.
The participants were Dr. Shafeeq Al-Ghabra from Kuwait, Dr. Mustafa Allabbad from Egypt, Dr. Ebtisam Katabi from the UAE, Dr. Mohammad Al-Misfer from Qatar, and Dr. Ali Ridha Nour Zadah.
Katabi opened her speech by saying: "Despite the tension between the Arab countries and Iran, there is a chance for cooperation."
Frankly speaking, Katabi said, "we can work with Iran to build bridges of tolerance and peace. We can work out our economic imbalances and seriously seek cooperation between the Arabs and Iran. We can find diplomatic solutions to this problem through open dialogue by discussing facts with practical visions from all parties."
Directing her speech to the Gulf countries, she added: "The Gulf countries should find a way for investments and economic coordination that will lead to a future solution to the political crisis."
Ali Zadah stressed the Iraq-Iran war deepened the gap between Arabs and Iran, saying that: "Relations were good before but now they are shakier and have more obstacles, especially the mistrust on both sides."
Ali Zadah talked in detail about the official stances of the Iranian leaders, and mentioned the honest intentions of Saudi leaders, and said that cooperation was needed and good intentions on both sides and a security agreement between the Kingdom and Iran could all contribute to better relations.
Zadah affirmed the Kingdom used its diplomacy in staving off an American attack on Iran during the Bush reign, and he added: "In spite of all these disputes in the regions, there is a window of hope to achieve cooperation between us and Iran."
On the other side, Dr. Mohammad Al-Misfer said: "In case of regional fragmentation, we can't be very optimistic of any cooperation, because though we have shared interests, we have more shared threats."
He also talked about the meaning of the term "Arab security."
"When we talk about cooperation between Arabs and Iran, we must take into consideration the security and political interests and ways of cooperation. So we look for the easiest way to get these agreements between the two sides," he said.
"Iran is not the first and only foe of the Arabs; we have a more serious danger coming for Israel as we all know," Al-Misfer said.
Al-Misfer used a comparative method to discuss the foreign policies of Iran and Arabs.
"Iran's army, air force, navy and the military maneuvers are good opportunities for cooperation between the two parties, to guarantee protection for both of them in all cases."
Dr. Mustafa Allabbad talked about the importance of dialogue and discussing all the cases and causes between the two parties and this can be achieved if one puts all disputes or bad intentions to one side. Also this dialogue must be translated into actions.
"Cooperation doesn't serve Iranian interests. The sectarian issues must not be stressed in political speeches, especially official speeches. This will lead to acceptance of Iran by Arabs. There are many issues and differences between Arabs and Iran and this is exploited by meddling parties, and we should first look at these meddling groups and stop them."
The second session of the symposium in Janadriyah was titled "Arabs and Iran...Determinants of Relationship," and was headed by Dr. Sadaqa Fadhel, who spoke about the studies put forward to find a way for possible solutions in the near future.
The session included many experts, politicians, authors and media. Opening the session was Dr. Wafa' Al Rasheed from the Kingdom.
"We have to look at transparency and not confrontation and this is the problem. We always look at things from a gloomy perspective and that leads us always to a serious risk," she said.
She concluded her remarks by adding more information about the Iranian stances against Arab countries.
Dr. Basheer Abdul Fattah from Palestine said: "There is a shared international-Arab economic security in the world markets, and there are many changes that affect the face of the relationship between Arabs and Iran."
In his remarks, Dr. Saleh Al-Mashnooq, from Lebanon, highlighted the real partnership in all aspects and honest intentions from all parties would lead to cooperation. He said this will never happen "if any one of them do not respect the sovereignty of each other and seek build a fixed base for a future permanent relationship."
Dr. Abdul Khaleq Abdullah discussed possible strategies for probable coordination with Iran, through showing the political ties of Arabs and Iran and he agreed with Dr. Sayed Muhajerati from Iran on the importance of resolving all forms of dispute between them, and finding bridges of cooperation for both of them as neighborly countries.