Bahrain Takes Reins of Arab League Council Presidency

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, took over the presidency of the Arab League Ministerial Council in its 145th regular session held in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The Minister expressed appreciation for the great effort exerted by the United Arab Emirates during its presidency, lauding the distinguished role it played in important achievements and decisions, contributing to a positive impact on pan-Arab action.

Additionally, Shaikh Khalid announced the appointment of His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit to the post of Secretary General of the Arab League for a period of five years beginning July 2016. He commended the efforts of the Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby and the employees of the Secretariat General for sound organization, follow-up and arrangement of activities of the current session.

In his speech, the Minister emphasized that terrorism and the rise of terrorist groups are at the top of challenges facing Arab countries today as they continue to operate and wreak havoc on Arab territories. He said that groups are aided by a number of countries that provide shelter to terrorists at large, open military training camps and smuggle terrorist weapons. The Minister stressed that these practices conflict with the principles of good neighborliness along with international laws and norms.

The Minister also outlined the most important developments and issues on the Arab arena. He noted that the Palestinian cause has become more complicated than ever due to escalated occupation and settlement, and he called on the international community to assume their legal and moral responsibilities in achieving just and comprehensive peace.

“The difficulties and problems facing the Arab countries and the ordeals and crises they are going through should not cripple them with despair or frustration or drag them to divide or failure. Rather, they should prompt them to make more serious efforts to maintain unity among the countries and people,” the Minister stated.

Shaikh Khalid also reiterated the unflinching position of the Kingdom of Bahrain in rejecting Iran’s ongoing occupation of three UAE islands, affirming the UAE’s unquestionable sovereignty over the territory. He condemned Iran’s continued meddling in domestic affairs of Arab states and the support it offers to terrorists.

The Minister discussed a myriad of other regional problems in his address, including the urgent need to implement solutions in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya.

He also highlighted the need to focus attention on the economic challenges facing Arab countries and to address these issues through development of economic summit mechanisms.