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Abu Ghaith: Arab League to Shine Again | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Policemen investigate the site of a car bomb attack on the convoy of Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat near his house at Heliopolis district in Cairo, June 29, 2015. Egypt’s top public prosecutor died of wounds sustained in a car bomb attack on his convoy as it was leaving his Cairo home on Monday in a marked escalation of Islamist militant attacks on the judiciary.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Cairo-Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abu Ghaith said that Arabs are not weak if united, shedding light on the successful experience of the Gulf. Abu Ghaith was asked if the Arab League is only a diplomatic entity with no worth mentioning achievements, during his first interview with an Arab print newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The general impression of the Arab World is that AL has lost its influence and role, speaking of which, I am determined to let it shine again and to lead core developments especially that the qualified staff is available”, he answered.
“What is the problem, then?” asked Asharq Al-Awsat.

The answer came as follows, “The problem has two branches; first is that the staff lost enthusiasm and reached disappointment, second is the there is contradiction between AL stances and the Arab nations’ will”.

Abu Ghaith replied to a question on how the Arab World is following up the quick events, saying, “We should always be fully informed about what’s happening around us. We should interact quickly and move adequately based on our concepts”.

“Are you a supporter of moderate work methodology or intensive one?” questioned the newspaper. “I personally prefer gradual development because intensive revolutionary work might cause losses. I believe in energy and dedication; I am usually at my office at 7:00 a.m. And, I should be able to serve the 22 countries of the league and not only Egypt, of course”.

Secretary General was asked if has any concerns about the visit of Israeli Prime Minister to the Nile Basin countries, he said that visit itself worries him not but the little attention paid to the Palestinian cause in the international scene”.

“But some see that you as a friend to Israel, what do you have to say about that?” asked Asharq Al-Awsat. “I was once Egypt’s Foreign Minister and Egypt keeps good diplomatic relations with Israel; my mission then was to defend the Egyptian interests”, he answered.

Abu Ghaith was asked about his vision to the French Initiative and if he expects it to be fruitful. His answer was as follows, “The Arab League approved the French initiative; it actually supports any initiative that aims to start negotiations in regards to the Palestinian case that suffered enormous losses throughout the past seven years”.

“Some said that Israel endorsed what is happening in Iraq before meeting the Nile Basin countries to send a message that its slogan “from the Nile to the Euphrates” is becoming true”, said Asharq Al-Awsat but Secretary General affirmed that this slogan fell in 1973.

“What about Iran?” asked the newspaper.

“There must be an Arab regional cooperation for the good of the territory and Islam but contradictions should not be allowed. Iran, for example, showed some stances during the past years that don’t benefit the Arab interests. It is even unlikely to witness Arab-Iranian negotiations in the near future”, replied Abu Ghaith.

Commenting on the Syrian situation and talking on a personal level, Abu Ghaith said that a near solution seems not possible yet he wished that Arab countries show a greater influence in this matter.

Asharq Al-Awsat inquired whether Arab will remain the sick countries of the world and how the secretary general views the upcoming Arab Summit. Abu Ghaith asked to learn from the Gulf successful experience and hoped that the Arab Summit, holding the name the “Summit of Hope”, reflect the nations’ hope and wish to resolve the problems and crisis”.