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Political and peaceful solutions to Middle East crises ensure stability: Arab League chief

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Mar 2019
Arab League
Arab League Foreign Ministers meet in the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 6, 2019 AFP
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Political and peaceful solutions in countries facing crisis in the Middle East are the guarantee to the safety and stability of the region, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during the Arab Foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

Aboul Gheit said that Arab countries face major challenges both politically and economically, in a session which saw discussions on the Palestinian cause, the Syrian and Libyan crises among others.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that the Palestinian cause remains the Arabs' primary issue, calling for the intensification of efforts to resume serious peace negotiations that can lead to establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Shoukry reiterated Egypt's full support to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The Egyptian top diplomat highlighted the continued relevance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, explaining that the formula adopted in the initiative is meant to reach a comprehensive and just peace agreement.

The initiative sets a comprehensive proposal to end the entire Arab–Israeli conflict through a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon; and accepting the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said that the persistence of the Palestinian cause depends on support by Arab states to the Palestinians' histrorical rights.

"It is time to hold Israel accountable over its crimes," Al-Maliki said pointing that his country is pushing for an investigation through the International Criminal Court into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people.

He slammed Israel's racist laws, including the recent law which defined the country as a Jewish state.

The Syrian crisis was also discussed during the meeting, with the Egyptian foreign minister reiterating the necessity of the political solution in Syria to restore its state institutions and reclaim its role in the region.

Shoukry also called for the need to rebuild Libyan state institutions and combat terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile, Libya's Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala called on the Arab League to help with efforts to lift an arms embargo on the Libyan armed forces to ensure that the Libyan security forces are properly armed to fight terrorism and maintain security.

The Arab foreign ministers also discussed several political, economic, security and cultural issues.

The meeting, which was chaired by Somalia, also reviewed the draft agenda of the upcoming Arab Summit that will be held in Tunis later this month.
 

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