The Middle East Needs Its Helsinki

(International Herald Tribune) Natan Sharansky - A document produced by Arab representatives at a conference in Alexandria, Egypt, two weeks ago pointed to the urgent need for political, economic, and social reform in the Arab world. These recommendations should be turned into a yardstick to measure the intentions of Arab governments and to chart their progress. In addition, the free world must be willing to link its international policies to how Arab regimes treat their own people. If the free world uses this leverage, Arab regimes will no longer be able to violate human rights with impunity. European states, for their part, might demand that if the PA wants to keep receiving financial support, it will have to show that this money is being used to improve the lives of the Palestinian people and not to fund terrorism and corruption. The lesson of Helsinki is that when demands to uphold human rights are backed by effective action, the cause of freedom and peace can be advanced.

2004-04-02 00:00:00

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