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Book The New Afrabia South Africas African Arab And Middle East Agendas

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The New Afrabia: South Africas African, Arab And Middle East Agendas
Qr Code The New Afrabia: South Africas African, Arab And Middle East Agendas

The New Afrabia: South Africas African, Arab And Middle East Agendas

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Category: Conflicts And Wars In The Middle East [Edit]
Language: English
Publisher:  مركز الإمارات للدراسات والبحوث السلسلة: Emirates Lecture
ISBN: 9948008707
Release Date:
Pages: 70
Rank: 395,588 No 1 most popular
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In 1993, the respected African scholar Ali Mazrui published a seminal article entitled: Afrabia: Africa and Arabs in the New World Order, in which he outlined the special relationship and historical and geographical continuities between Africa and Arabia. Mazrui argued that in the new geo-political world order the links between Africa and Arabia will be strengthened by language, culture and religion, as well as by economic, political and social identities across the Sahara Desert and the Red Sea, leading to a fusion between Arabism and Africanity.

In recent years, South Africa has emerged as a pivotal one which seeks to give meaning and substance to the notion of “Afrabia,” by gearing its already crowded foreign policy agenda towards advancing strategic Afro-Arab relations. To this end, South Africa, especially under the government of Thabo Mbeki, has articulated African, Arab and Middle East agendas, through engaging in deft and carefully calibrated geo-strategic diplomacy both within the continent and the Middle East. The republic has carefully and deliberately built partnerships and strategic alliances with key states in these regions, including in the Middle East; North Africa; West Africa; East Africa and the Horn; Central Africa; and of course its immediate neighborhood, Southern Africa.

South Africa has sought to play the role of an “honest broker” in conflicts in the Middle East and has been keen to be involved as a mediator-negotiator in the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. It sought to avert a war in Iraq by calling on the United States, Britain and others to work through the United Nations (UN) Security Council, while simultaneously urging Saddam Hussein’s regime to cooperate with the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and to openly declare that it was not seeking to build nuclear and biological weapons. In terms of the nuclear issue in Iran, South Africa has worked with the Iranians, impressing upon them the need to remain within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and co-operate with weapons inspectors. At the same time, South Africa has stressed to the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and others the need to respect Iran’s right to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful use. These are all examples of South Africa pursuing an independent and self-determining posture in world affairs, while at the same time playing an activist peacemaking role-that of conciliator.

It is often said that South Africa punches above its weight when it comes to international affairs, suggesting that it has diplomatic influence which is incommensurate with its status as a low- to middle-ranking power. This is highlighted by the fact that the Republic plays influential and generally respected roles in the African continent and the Middle East sub-region.

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