By Farah Bahgat
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri talked of the challenges facing Arab nations, ranging from terrorism, to the state of institutions, in his speech at the Arab League foreign ministers meeting Monday.
Shoukry said that the Palestinian case was a top priority for cooperative Arab work, and stressed the importance of lifting the Gaza Strip’s siege.
“Egypt had the initiative of working with the Syrian opposition in order to reach mutual grounds, and we’re looking forward to next month’s conference of Syrian opposition in Cairo to find the political solution that achieves the hopes of the Syrian people in a democratic regime that protects Syria and the region from terrorism and extremism,” he said.
Shoukry also talked about the situation in Libya, asserting Egypt’s support for the Libyan government and parliament. He also called for support of the legitimate Libyan government to achieve sovereignty in all Libyan land and properly fight terrorism.
“Egypt supports the legitimate Yemeni figures and institutions and the importance of the unity of the Yemeni lands, and we stress the importance of the preceding of consultations of all political parts sponsored by the United Nations,” he added
Regarding Iraq, Shoukry said the Iraqi government’s success in the completion of all constitutional dues and forming a new government calls for Arab League support to repair relations with neighbouring countries.
Among the attendees were Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, who arrived to Cairo to join the Arab foreign ministers meetings held at the Arab League.
The foreign ministers, led by Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Gouda, discussed several issues. These included the latest security situation in Libya, and the latest updates regarding Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and developments in the Palestinian issue.
Additionally, the ministers started preparing for the 26th Arab Summit, which is set to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh on 28 and 29 March.
The meeting was held upon the request of Ashour Bourashed, Libya’s permanent delegate to the Arab League, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.
Libya has requested arms, jets and tanks from the UN Security Council since “Islamic State” (IS) militants claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks.
While Libya and Syria are facing IS militants, the situation in Yemen was also discussed. The Houthis – who control several parts of Yemen – are confronting oppositional tribes from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants, while President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi seeks to reconsolidate his power, in Aden.