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New Arab Parliament President: National Security is Top Priority - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cairo- Saudi Dr. Meshal Al-Sulami was officially elected for the post of Arab Parliament President on Saturday. Al-Sulami promised that the prospects of his presidency will be highlighted with prosperity and proactive efforts.

“There is a busy schedule encompassing the development of the body’s performance and focus on chief files concerning the Arab world, in a manner compatible with modern day life, and the aims set ,” Dr. Al-Sulami told Asharq Al-Awsat in a private statement post his election.

He also affirmed that he would seek, during his term, to boost Arab parliamentary action overcoming challenges and focusing efforts on maintaining national and naval security.

Al-Sulami, member of the Saudi Shura Council, won 53 votes out of an original 66 during a procedural session held at the Cairo-based Arab League’s headquarters. Rival Sudanese candidate Samia Hassan Sayed won 13 votes.

Dr. Al-Sulami, who headed the Saudi Shura Council’s Committee on Education and Scientific Research, will be replacing Emirati Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan.

The new president confirmed that the Palestinian cause would be among the files expected to receive better attention in the upcoming period. Al-Sulami reiterated that foreign intervention must be kept at bay and away from Arab country’s affairs.

At the same session, Khalid Ali Al Falasi, member of the UAE Federal National Council was named chair of the Arab Parliament’s Economic and Financial Affairs Committee while Ahmed Reslan, an Egyptian MP, was named First Deputy Speaker of the Arab Parliament.

After being elected, Al-Sulami said the Arab Parliament will make firm strides towards the future so as to enhance the joint Arab action.

He added that the parliament would witness a quantum leap in terms of its legislative, administrative and financial role in the forthcoming period.

Al-Sulami stressed the parliament is going through conditions similar to the ones facing the Arab countries.

He reiterated that the Palestinian cause and means of enhancing partnership amongst Arab counties have “great priorities” in the parliament’s action.

He said he would work on achieving reconciliations amongst Arabs and launching initiatives to unify the Arab nation in order to overcome the current challenges.

The parliament will also promote cooperation and coordination with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), European Parliament and South America’s Parliament to serve the mutual interests, he pointed out.