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Arab Foreign Ministers Reject Attempts to Move Embassies to Jerusalem | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Arab Ministerial Council for Electricity held 10th Session at Arab League Headquarters in Cairo
(Khaled Desouki/AFP Photo)

Cairo – Arab Foreign Ministers renewed their countries’ full commitment to the Arab Peace initiative of 2002.

The ministers resolutions came during the 147th session of Arab League Foreign Ministers Council on Tuesday at the organization’s general secretariat headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, chaired by Algeria.

The ministers adopted a resolution against any attempt to move diplomatic missions to Jerusalem, following President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The meeting’s agenda included 28 points dealing with topical issues, namely the latest developments in Libya, Syria and Yemen, the question of Palestine and the ways to fight terrorism and trans-border organized crime.

The League considered that setting up any diplomatic mission in Jerusalem or moving it to the city is an explicit attack on the rights of the Palestinian people and all Muslims and Christians.

Moving diplomatic missions to Jerusalem would be “a serious violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and relevant Security Council resolutions,” it said.

The ministers demanded all countries commit to the Security Council Resolutions 476 and 478 issued in 1980 which considers the Israeli law to include Jerusalem annulled and no diplomatic missions should be transferred there.

The ministers asked state members, sec-gen, and Arab League missions to monitor and follow up on any move to breach the Security Council resolutions and international law regarding moving diplomatic missions to Jerusalem.

The foreign ministers also tasked the Arab Group of States in New York “to study effective measures to counter any such move through the United Nations, including the Security Council”.

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that due to the current situation, Syria will not take part in the coming Arab Summit scheduled on 29 March in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel, Aboul Gheit added that the subject would take “some time” for reaching a decision, referring to Syria’s membership in the Arab League.

When asked about the Libyan parliament’s vote to cancel the political agreement and presidential council, the sec-gen said that it is too soon to issue a unified Arab position of the Tubrok’s parliament announcement. He added that the news should be verified first before making a clear statement.

Messahel said that ministers are discussing the Libyan crisis because there is no other way but to hold dialogue between all Libyan parties, except terrorist organizations.

The ministers condemned the increased number of initiative adding the Algeria preferred to act according to the Sukhayrat agreement that granted the legitimacy to all including the parliament, which term ended in October 2015.

Messahel added that the political agreement granted all parties legitimacy, and if disagreements occur it can be amended since it is not a holy book. He added that by cancelling the Sukhayrat agreement, the Libyan parliament is revoking itself.

He stressed that Algeria strongly supports a national reconciliation and political solution in Libya.

Ministers also condemned the continuous Iranian interventions that violate the security and stability and the rule of Yemen.

They called on the international community represented by the Security Council to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop hostile activities against Yemeni people and to respect the sovereign rights of the state of Yemen.

Ministers called on the member states and the international community to provide political, security, economic and financial support to enable Yemen to face the challenges ahead.

Ministers expressed their thanks and appreciation for Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Sudan and Djibouti for their support to the Yemeni people and the legitimate government.