Sisi stresses importance of Arab unity in facing common challenges during Arab League summit

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Nov 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi gave a speech at the Arab League summit in Algiers on Wednesday where he underscored the importance of Arab unity in facing challenges ranging from the Palestinian issue to water security and climate change.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi delivers a speech at the 31st Arab League summit in Algeria. Egyptian Presidency


The president stressed that any instability in the states of the Maghreb (North Africa) have an impact on the Arab states in the Middle East and vice versa.

Addressing Arab leaders at the 31st summit of the League of Arab States, which is being held in Algiers on 1 and 2 November, President El-Sisi said that the different Arab countries are threatened by the same dangers, including interference by foreign actors in Arab affairs and military aggressions against some Arab countries.

“These factors have led to prolonging crises without solutions at a time when international and regional economic, development, and environmental challenges are intensifying, and while international polarisation is increasing,” he said.

El-Sisi said that Egypt looks forward to effective partnership between Arab countries based on an aspiration for a prosperous future shaped by boosting and integrating Arab political, economic, and security capabilities to establish a solid system capable of facing common challenges.

“This solid system will provide protection for all of us from the international polarisation that has been escalating,” he said.

Palestinian rights, revival of Arab Peace Initiative

“Moving forward in progress and development requires serious work to resolve the various crises in the Arab world, foremost among which is always the issue of Palestine,” El-Sisi said.

The president said that Arab countries’ ability to work collectively to restore Palestinian rights has historically been, and will continue to be, the real measure of Arab unity.

El-Sisi expressed Egypt’s support for the Arab peace initiative that was proposed by Saudi Arabia in the Arab League summit in Beirut 2002 to end the Arab-Israeli conflict based on “land for peace,” which was endorsed by the Arab countries.

“The Arab Peace Initiative also remains the embodiment of [Arab] unity and of our common vision for a just and comprehensive solution [to the Palestinian issue], based on the two-state solution and the principle of land for peace to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital,” El-Sisi said.

Crises in Arab countries

President El-Sisi said that more collective Arab action is needed to deal with crises like the ones in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan.

“The security and safety of the people of these brother countries will be threatened by these crises and they will continue to be a source of instability that impacts us all and hinders our development efforts,” El-Sisi said.

On Libya, El-Sisi said that Egypt is exerting efforts to ensure that a political settlement is reached as soon as possible and without the interference of foreign agendas.

He said that Egypt reiterates its stance that all foreign forces and mercenaries should withdraw from the country within a specified timeframe, that the institutions of the Libyan state should be reunified, and that the militias should be dissolved in a manner that prevents the renewal of military confrontations.

Water security, GERD, climate challenges

President El-Sisi also addressed the “dilemma of water security” that is affecting several Arab countries, which he said will have “serious consequences” if ignored.

The president said that Egypt reaffirms the importance of continuing to urge Ethiopia “to demonstrate the political will necessary to reach a legally binding agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).”

Egypt, the president said, calls on Ethiopia “to implement the presidential statement issued by the Security Council in September 2021 and to adopt any of the many solutions put forward through many rounds of negotiations.”

The Arab group at the United Nations backed Egypt and Sudan when they supported Tunisia’s draft resolution at the Security Council in 2021, which turned into a presidential resolution issued in September 2021.

The resolution called for the revival of the talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to reach a legally binding agreement on the GERD’s operation and filling policies according to a timetable under the auspices of the African Union.

Egypt and Sudan have rejected Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to operate the GERD and start filling its reservoir, including its recent move to embark on the third phase of filling the 74-billion-cubic-metre reservoir and operating the dam’s turbines without the downstream countries’ consent.

The two downstream countries have repeatedly called on Addis Ababa to sign a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam that would secure their water rights and protect their people's interests.

“The challenge of water security is inseparable from other challenges facing the region, foremost among which is climate change,” El-Sisi said.

The president invited the Arab leaders to attend the 27th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on 7-8 November.

“We can transform this challenge [climate change] into a real opportunity for development and move to economic models that are more sustainable,” he said.

Short link: