The 31st Arab Summit at the level of leaders started on Tuesday evening in Algeria, with the opening session starting off with a speech by Tunisian President Kais Saied, who handed over the presidency to Algeria.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune then gave a speech, followed by a speech by Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit
The summit is expected to discuss unifying Arab ranks and bringing them together to face the latest international developments, resolve Arab crises — foremost among them the Palestinian issue — reform the AL, and achieve Arab food security in light of the rise in the price of raw materials due to the war in Ukraine and the remnants of the coronavirus pandemic.
The summit is being held under the theme ‘Reuniting and unifying visions on strengthening joint Arab action.’
The Algerian president said that the summit’s handling of various regional and international challenges stems from its “faith in our abilities and role in the international community as a whole, and with each other as a single Arab body in harmony, in which we respect the sovereignty of states, their decisions, and non-interference in the affairs of others.”
He stressed the need to work on benefiting from the diverse energies of Arab countries as a force of cohesion and positive response to the aspirations of the Arab nation.
Additionally, according to Aboul-Gheit, strengthening Palestinian resilience will be a key issue on the summit’s agenda, along with the Arab crises in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia.
The secretary-general stressed that the current stage “requires serious action by all to strengthen Palestinian steadfastness at all political and economic levels.”
He added that the recent signing of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement in Algeria represents a step on the right path and that “we all look forward to a practical translation of this agreement, and a commitment by the Palestinian factions to implement its provisions.”
Furthermore, Aboul-Gheit said the summit will also discuss issues related to addressing regional interference in the internal affairs of Arab states.
Additionally, the summit will issue on Wednesday the Algiers Declaration for the development of joint Arab action.
For his part, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi participated in the summit to demonstrate Egypt’s keenness to strengthen ties of cooperation and brotherhood with all Arab countries and to continue Egypt’s pivotal role in promoting efforts to advance the mechanisms of joint action.
A statement by the Egyptian presidency that was released on Tuesday added that the summit will aim to foster consultation and coordination between Arab countries on endeavours to preserve the security and stability of the region and promote Arab interests, especially in light of the multiple existing challenges at the international and regional levels.
It added that the president’s schedule also includes bilateral meetings with his Arab brothers to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and exchange views on the latest regional and international developments
In a related context, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of greeting to the participants in the summit, stressing the importance of the role played by the countries of the Middle East and North Africa in the international arena.
“The process of forming a multipolar system in international relations based on the principles of equality, justice, and respect for the legitimate interests of all countries is gaining momentum,” Putin said.
“Russia is ready to continue to develop interaction with the Arab League and all its members in every possible way with a view to strengthening regional and global security.”
“The problems in the Middle East and North Africa must be resolved on an international legal basis while respecting the sovereignty of states,” he concluded.