Leftist youth meeting criticizes US policies in Middle East
An international left-wing youth seminar that opened on the outskirts of the Bahrain capital of Manama on Friday blamed US policies in the Middle East for escalating tensions, dpa reports.
The two-day meeting held under the motto Youth of the Gulf and the Path to Democracy re-affirmed support for armed resistance groups fighting occupation and accused Washington of spreading sectarian tension.
The vice president of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), Omar al-Deeb, accused the US of carrying out major wars beyond its borders.
Al-Deeb said elections held under occupation are not really free, questioning whether the Afghanistan and Iraq wars had brought about any real freedom for the people.
"In presence of arms you cannot really have a voice. You have to be free to make your choices" he said.
The head of the foreign affairs committee of the Lebanese Communist Party, Mufeed Qutaish, said armed resistance remained the only viable option for many Arabs, but said it should not take form of terrorism.
"For peace to occur both sides have to believe in it and it also means that Israel would have to transform itself to become just another normal country where its armed forces is subject to the rule of the political establishment and not independent from it," he said.
The seminar is organized by Bahrain Youth Society in association with WFDY.
Eleven delegations representing Gulf states, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden, India and Mauritius are taking part in the meetings that will also discuss advancement of women's rights in the Gulf in its final session.