Arab interests must be voiced unanimously to reflect unified will: Aboul Gheit

Sami Hegazi
4 Min Read
The extraordinary session of the Arab League foreign ministers meets to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, April 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, has stressed that the Arab region is still the epicentre of serious threats whose consequences will affect the whole world’s political and economic situations.

Addressing the opening session of the Arab League meeting at the level of foreign ministers, on Thursday, Aboul Gheit said the Arab interests should be expressed unanimously to reflect the unified will of the region.

He added that this Arab League meeting proved to the world community that Palestine is still at the top of the Arab priorities.

“There is an Arab consensus on the Palestinian cause. We do not accept any compromises regarding the establishment of a sovereign state on the borders of 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem,” Aboul Gheit stressed.

As for Yemen, he affirmed that the political process is the only way to settle the crisis there, based on known terms of reference, foremost among them the UN Security Council Resolution 2216. 

The pan-Arab bloc leader called for an immediate end to the Houthi movement’s aggression on all fronts, so that serious talks can resume between all involved parties.

Meanwhile, Aboul Gheit welcomed the recent progress in the Libyan issue, as the related parties formed a new executive authority.

He called on all Libyans to seize the opportunity and unite in order to complete the preparatory phase of the general elections, scheduled for next December. He noted, however, that the political process could only succeed if all foreign forces and mercenaries left Libya and the threat of militias and illegal armed groups was eliminated.

As for Syria, Aboul Gheit highlighted the urgent need to create an effective and credible path to a political solution in the country.

During the Arab League meeting, Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, announced the Arab foreign ministers’ absolute rejection to the Turkish intervention in the region, including the deployment of Turkish forces in several Arab countries. 

He said that such policies only deepen polarisation and disagreements in the region.

On the other hand, Shoukry praised Arab countries’ support to Egypt and Sudan in the ongoing negotiation process regarding the filling and operation of Ethiopia’s Nile dam. 

He explained that the Egyptian position on Ethiopia dam did not seek to undermine the rights of any party. He said, “We are still pushing for an agreement that guarantees our legitimate rights, does not diminish Ethiopia’s right to development, and does not violate Egypt’s or Sudan’s water rights.”

Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s commitment to work and cooperate within the framework of the Arab League, being the overarching framework for all Arab countries.  

Before the session, the Arab Ministers of Foreign Affairs agreed to renew incumbent Arab League Secretary-General Aboul Gheit’s tenure for a further five-year term starting on 1 July. 

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