Foreign interference is destabilising the Middle East countries and it is one of the biggest challenges for the region as political parties become “puppet” to foreign countries, said Hussain Sajwani, chairman of Damac Properties.

“Problem in the Middle East is that when there is a democracy, there are 10 different political parties. And there are 10 different countries around the world to support those parties and they become puppet for those countries. I have not seen many countries in the world where foreigners interfere there and support political parties. This is the biggest challenge for Middle East,” the Dubai-based billionaire said during a panel discussion while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Sajwani stressed that the Arab world has to rise above the politics of religion and tribal affinities in order to bring right people in to power.

“The situation is much deeper than a bad or corrupt governments. I think a lot of time we don’t address the main issue. Governments are brought by the people so why people in the last 10-20 or 50 years couldn’t elect good government. Lebanon is 60-year-old democracy, the oldest in the Middle East. People in the Arab world have to realise that when they go to elections, they elect not necessarily the person they like, not the person of their religion, or his tribe. And this is big disaster,” Sajwani said while speaking during a panel discussion titled “The Return of Arab Unest.”

Other participants in the panel discussion were Gebran Bassil, ex-foreign minister of Lebanon, and Sigrid Kaag, a Dutch politician.

Hussain’s Sajwani’s Damac Properties is one of the largest private developers in Dubai. The real estate magnate’s assets were valued at $1.8 billion by Forbes.

Sajwani said 20th century was the most disastrous century for the Middle East beginning from World War 1 when Arab countries were divided into pieces, followed by creation of Israel, then 1948 war, rule of military officers in Libya and Iraq and then consistent interference from super power in the region’s internal affairs.


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