Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt Foreign Minister: Gulf security and stability is red-line | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Egyptian Foreign Minister Dr. Nabil al-Arabi yesterday stated that the Gulf’s security, stability, and Arab identity represent a “red-line” which Egypt rejects any transgression against.

In related news, the Arab League informed its member-states that Qatar had officially nominated former Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] Secretary-General Abdulrahman al-Attiyah, to replace Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa, who is set to leave his position as head of the Arab League in May.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi welcomed the results of the recent meeting of GCC foreign ministers. He said that the GCC states had “succeeded in moving in a coordinated fashion to preserve the security of Bahrain, giving a practical application to the concept of collective security in the Gulf region.”

He added that the Arab Gulf region represents a fundamental strategic necessity to Egyptian national security, and that maintaining and preserving security and stability in the Gulf is both a national commitment, and a strategic necessity. Al-Arabi also confirmed that committing to the preservation of the unity, stability, and security, of each country in the Gulf region, is one of the most important political principles of Egyptian foreign policy. He stressed that “the stability and Arabhood of the Arab Gulf countries is a red-line against which Egypt rejects any transgression.”

The Arab League confirmed that it has not received any nominations from Egypt or – with the exception of Qatar – any other country for the position of Arab League Secretary-General, to succeed current Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa who plans to step down in May.

An Arab League spokesman yesterday told the press that “we have not received any official nominations, with the exception of Qatar which has put forward a nomination for [Abdulrahman] al-Attiyah. All Arab states were immediately informed of this nomination.”

The Arab League spokesman added that the replacement of the Arab League Secretary-General is a subject that will be widely discussed during the forthcoming period.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa’s chief of staff, Hisham Youssef, has said that the Arab League can also expect Egypt to put forward a candidate, confirming that this issue will be discussed at the forthcoming Arab League Summit, which is set to take place in Baghdad on 10 May.

As for other Arab League member states putting forward a candidate for the Secretary-General position, Youssef said that the Arab League charter does not specify the nationality of the Secretary-General. He added “historically, Egypt has monopolized this post since the establishment of the Arab League in 1945, with the exception of the period in which the headquarters of the Arab League was transferred to Tunis.” Youssef stressed that Egypt has nominated prominent figures for this post over the past decades, and that Cairo is interested in maintaining this practice. He also said that we should wait and see how the situation develops, and that there will be consultation between the Arab states over this issue.

Outgoing Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa supervised the opening of the first conference for Arab – Western media dialogue, which aims to improve Arab – Western relations. The forum’s slogan is “a new era for Arab – Western relations.” This conference was attended by a number of international figures including Swedish Development and International Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson, UN Alliance of Civilizations High Representative Jorge Sampaio, and President of the Anna Lindh Foundation Andre Azoulav.

Musa said that the changes that have occurred in a number of Arab states must be translated into a new era of Arab – European relations, stressing that the media will play a critical role in this. He said that “the media can play an important and vital role in Arab – Western dialogue.”