Arab League Council discusses ‘terrorism,’ reaffirms Syria seat for opposition
Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby - REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File

CAIRO: Cairo hosted the 141st session of the Arab League Council on Sunday to discuss political issues in Arab countries and to ensure their positions on “terrorism.”

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi held a press conference with session head Morocco Minister of Foreigner Affairs Salah Al-Din Mezwar announcing that all the decisions in Sunday’s meeting were adopted by all members.

Mezwar said the countries decided to condemn “terrorism” and issued specific decisions regarding Egypt, Bahrain and Somalia. He said Marrakesh will host a meeting of Arab interior ministers on March 12 and 13, during which they will further denounce violence and “terrorism.”

The Council reaffirmed a previous decision to welcome the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to fill the Syrian seat in the Arab League as the only legal representative of the Syrian people, despite Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon distancing themselves from such resolutions, he said.

The Council invited the head of the Syrian opposition, Ahmad Al-Jarba, to speak at the upcoming Arab summit in Kuwait to brief Arab leaders on the developments of the situation in Syria and to inform the coalition on alternatives and options to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Arabi said that the Arab League summit held last March approved giving the Syrian seat to the opposition, and that this matter has been resolved, adding, “The seat was not yet given to the opposition due to the incomplete institutions of the opposition as well as problems in obtaining Arab League credentials. ”

He said the meeting that was scheduled between the Arab League and Syrian opposition March 12 has been postponed to April 1 at the request of Syrian opposition forces.

Regarding the Geneva II Conference on Syria, Arabi said, “We had great hope that things move in Geneva2, but this did not happen. But I see the benefits of it and one of them is the meeting between the opposition and the regime talking to each other separately, and this gave the message to the world that Syria now has two entities and not a single entity.

The council also welcomed the outcome of donor country aid to Syria after a conference in Kuwait last year, and invited donor countries to speed up the fulfillment of their commitments to host refugees and displaced Syrians, along with emphasizing the need to support the countries and help bear the burden of such urgent humanitarian assistance.

Arabi said that the Qatari dispute that led to the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ambassadors from Qatar was not discussed during the meeting because Qatar’s foreign minister did not attend. He was visiting Morocco with the prince.

Egypt Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy is scheduled to meet on Monday with Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamid to discuss boosting relations between the two countries.

It will be the first formal meeting of Egypt and Tunisia’s foreign ministers since the events of June 30, which led to tensions in relations between the two countries. It is also the first visit to Cairo for Hamid , who is new to his position in the new Tunisian government, which was formed following the adoption of the constitution.

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