Abul Gheit lauds Amir’s efforts for Arab unity, resolving conflicts
Arab League chief reiterates Syrian crisis’ solution political
KUWAIT: Arab League’s Secretary General Ahmad Abul Gheit has commended Kuwait’s distinct and major role under His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for reuniting Arabs, calming attitudes and resolving conflicts and crises.
His Highness the Amir’s wise policy for the Arab joint action is a sound approach, namely exerting efforts for calming attitudes, ending conflicts and settling disputes among the Arab countries, Abul Gheit told the Kuwait TV in an interview on Friday.
During his visit to Kuwait earlier last week, the League chief met with His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Abul Gheit said the meetings were “very fruitful.” He noted that goal of the visit was to discuss handling the present Arab situation, as well as the means to reactivate the Arab League’s performance and effectiveness.
Kuwait offers a good example of a committed state member in the League, lavishing efforts to support the organization and the chief, he said. Abul Gheit added that he had reviewed with the Kuwaiti leadership his future plans to reactivate the Arab League in the wake of several “unhappy” events in the Arab region. He pointed out that he and the Kuwaiti officials shared a common vision on the Arab situation.
On the efforts to resolve thorny issues of the region, the Arab League chief said that under His Highness the Amir, Kuwait has always manifested moderation in all situations, refraining to get plunged in the ongoing conflicts, and has been seeking to cool tempers.
He explained that Kuwait has been shouldering heavy responsibility to calm the situation on the Arab scene, a matter that requires “frankness with all parties.” He stressed in this regard the country’s good relations with all regional powers, which makes it always in a position to be asked to intervene to end conflicts. In the meantime, Abul Gheit referred to Kuwait’s contribution to the Arab League’s budget. For decades, Kuwait has been the first country to honor its financial commitments to the League, and to pay its share of the organization’s budget, he said voicing gratitude to Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled.
He also referred to Kuwait’s leading humanitarian efforts, pointing to the great aid the country presents around the globe, which “reflects self-denial and readiness to help humanity.” He cited the role of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), and its motto “Helping people to help themselves.” In the meantime, the Arab League Secretary General highlighted Kuwait’s initiative for peace in Yemen, hosting negotiations among the Yemeni parties. He said that it was a “positive” initiative that could be revived to end the crisis and the tragedy of the Yemeni people.
Meanwhile, Abul Gheit said that settlement of the Syrian conflict would only take place through political negotiations, ruling out success of the military option. “The military option is out of question, and the settlement will not be achieved but through a diplomatic and political solution which means negotiations and efforts exerted by all parties,” Abul Gheit said. The biggest problem of the Syrian crisis is that “the big powers are deeply involved in this crisis, which deepens it and threats of an international confrontation,” he added.
Abul Gheit urged the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to exchange views with the Arab countries over the Syrian conflict, which broke out in March 2011 and killed more than 250,000 people. He said a change must take place because “leaders cannot stay for long years.” He condemned the bombardment of unarmed civilians. Asked about Iraq, Abul Gheit said the state of Iraq has full legitimate right to regain control of all territories, but rights of all sects and human rights must be respected.
Separately, Abul Gheit termed as “positive step” the election of Michel Aoun as President of Lebanon, because it would ease the tension in the Arab country. Aoun’s election “is a positive step that reflects a desire of the Lebanese community to end the deadlock, confrontation and tension,” Abul Gheit said.
He hoped the formation of the Lebanese government would take place in a consensus manner. The Lebanese parliament elected Aoun, leader of the Change and Reform Bloc, with 83 votes in favor which ended some two years and a half vacuum in presidency.
Abul Gheit meanwhile said the Arab League and its member countries, including Kuwait, were supporting the Palestinian cause. “The Palestinian cause has lost a great deal in recent years because the Arabs were busy in their own conflicts due to foreign interference,” said Abul Gheit. The Arab League chief paid a one-day visit to Kuwait last Monday, during which he met with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Abul Gheit assumed his Arab League post last March. He was Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011. —KUNA
Arab League’s Secretary General Ahmad Abul Gheit