'US legitimisation of Israeli occupation of Golan is a ‘major wrongdoing’: Arab League head

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Mar 2019

Arab League Chief
Phile Photo: The Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Abou El-Gheit (Reuters)

The Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Abou El-Gheit said on Friday that the United States' recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights would not change reality, adding that if occupation constitutes a crime then seeking legitimacy for it is a “major wrongdoing.”

Abou El-Gheit’s statements came during preparatory meetings of member states’ foreign ministers ahead of the 30th Arab League summit, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday in Tunisia.

He also said that the Palestinian cause will remain “the central Arab issue” despite the crises in the region.

“Arabs have agreed on this principle at all summits and most recently at the Arab summit of Dammam in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

He stressed the necessity of committing to the principle of maintaining the nation state in all Arab countries facing crises, like Syria, Libya and Yemen, in order to preserve their independence and territorial integrity against the threat of division.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is participating in the preparatory meetings for the summit in Tunisia.

The Arab League summit will “discuss issues of joint Arab cooperation and ways to deal with various regional challenges and crises,” an earlier statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said ahead of the preparatory meetings on Friday that his country is working on combining efforts with other Arab states to contain any repercussions from the US’s decision to recognise Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

“We will work with the rest of brotherly Arab countries and the international community to contain all possible repercussions of this resolution in various international and regional platforms,” Jhinaoui stated.

In his speech to handover the summit chairmanship from his country to Tunisia on Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf reiterated the Kingdom’s rejection of the US’s decision on the Golan Heights. 

Al-Assaf also reaffirmed the kingdom's rejection of any decision that affects the legal status of Jerusalem, describing the Palestinian issue as the Arab nations’ “top issue.”

The Saudi forign minister slammed Iran for its "interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries."

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