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Rede S.K.H. Prinz Idris Al Senussi auf dem DAG-Frühlingsfest vom 03.05.2014 auf dem Landgut Gühlen



S.K.H. Prinz Idris Al Senussi

Mister President,

Distinguished members of the German-Arab Association,

Dear participants

It’s an honour to be here in Landgut Gühlen, in this lovely location.

This is the right place to exchange views about the economic, political and cultural relations between Germany and Arab countries that your Association is committed to promote. And it deserves congratulations for its duty, thank you for the invitation.

Indeed, I have accepted it, because in times of change and transition, dialogue is required and friendship is put to the test.

This is exactly what is going on in the South and East of the Mediterranean Sea, what we call in Arabic “the white sea of the middle”.


Let me share with you some general remarks about the long-term trends in our changing region.

I) First of all, the Arab World has to be looked at both in its unity and its diversity.

a) Unity of cultural references and values, in the Arab World, al-alam al-arabi.

* We share a commonality of destiny from the Ocean to the Gulf, min al-mouhit ila al-khalige, served today by new social networks and cross-border TV channels.

* We also share common hopes, expressed by strong words:

* Nahda, for Renaissance

* Tahrir, for Liberation

* Karama, for Dignity.

I have spent time and thought deeply on the meaning of these beautiful words. Political power is not only about decision-making and management. It has to encompass the values of symbols and hopes of the people.

* But there is also a diversity of our political trajectories.

I have to short a time to elaborate BUT if we look around at the extreme diversity of to-day's political situations, from the regressive tragedy in Syria to the political maturity of Tunisia the differences are obvious.

The spectrum has become very wide. I am not naive and I happen to be very preoccupied with negative developments in several countries.

What we have to consider carefully is that all these political changes are taking place within specific States and Nations. Of course I don’t ignore the communitarian risks and tensions in the Near East. The millet of the Ottomans is still alive, notably in times of insecurity.

But the point is absolutely not about an illusory and old-fashion caliphate, claimed by trans-national violent activists.

The key issue is to have stability and progress within our own countries and to build inclusive Nation-States, keen FOR internal cohesion and ready to  participate in regional co-operation.

Among the diversity of political regimes in today's Arab World, I notice that experts and observers tend to consider that constitutional monarchies are showing more flexibility to anticipate changes and to promote adaptations.

II) Now, together we have to look ahead.

Our region seems to lag behind others in dealing with opportunities offered by world economic trends and globalisation. Of course, diversity of assets and incomes, diversity of strategies and outcomes are huge. Some have plenty of oil and gas; others no. But there are good practices and successful trajectories implemented in some countries, which could inspire others.

Within 15 years, the Arab region will have close to 350 millions people.

Within 15 years, our region will be the most seriously affected by drought linked to climate change (overall hydric stress and food insecurity); this was pointed out by the UNDP report in 2007.

All responsible political leaders should put emphasis on economic development and economic security.

They have to rely on domestic resources and at the same time, work hard for diversification of the economic base. When primary resources are available, wealth and prosperity depend on sound strategies to make growth a real asset for development.

For example, I am convinced that a knowledge-based economy should become a priority for any government, which implies freedom of research and creation. But a knowledge society supposes to accept a distance with a too conservative reading of reference texts. The great Arab historian Ibn Khaldoun wrote enlightening chapters on these conditions for progress. There are still many lessons to learn from the past.

III) We also have to enlarge our horizons.

Our region is not alone. We have historic connections with Europe and we should all be more engaged in an effective North-South cooperation to build an attractive Euro-Med region. The southern shore of our common sea will not succeed alone, without an integral cooperation with your countries in the North.

Several countries in the Arab World also have specific links with South Saharan Africa, which present common challenges and opportunities. It is a strategic issue. Here again, Europeans and Arab could achieve much together.

Our individual countries, notably from Morocco to Egypt, should promote more integration between themselves. The cost for non-integration is huge, and several reports confirm it. In that respect, I carefully look at the success of European integration where Germany is playing a central role, with its neighbours.

We have to face the challenges of modernity. We have to improve our respective knowledge of our societies, of our ambitions and of our capacities.

We need to share trust and to cherish peace and stability. This is my philosophy. This is my commitment.


Mister President, thank you once again for your kind invitation.



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