Egypt to nominate 'prestigious diplomat' for Arab League top post

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Feb 2016

Nabil El-Araby
Arab League's Secretary General Nabil El-Araby (File Photo: Reuters)

Egypt said on Sunday that it is set to nominate a "prestigious figure" for the position of secretary-general of the Arab League to succeed current chief Nabil El-Araby.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abo Zeid said that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has presented to Arab kings and leaders an Egyptian nominee who boasts diplomatic experience.

"High-level consultations are currently taking place to gain Arab support for the Egyptian nominee," he added.

"The name of the Egyptian candidate will be announced in the coming days following the completion of necessary consultations."

He expressed his hope that the nominee receives the necessary support in order to "achieve Arab solidarity and protect Arab national security in facing the current major challenges."

The statements came following Arab League chief El-Araby's announcement on Sunday that he will not seek a second term after his current one ends in July.

Following the announcement, Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry expressed his high regards and appreciation of El-Araby's efforts and contributions in supporting Arab unity and protecting Arab interests amid critical regional and international developments.

El-Araby, 80, took over as league chief from fellow Egyptian diplomat Amr Moussa in 2011.

He had served as foreign minister in the Egyptian government that came to power after the ouster of long-time president Hosni Mubarak earlier that year.

Since becoming secretary-general, El-Araby has had to manage a number of sensitive issues, including the civil conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as the rise of the Islamic State militant group.

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