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Arab League reform indispensable — King

By JT - Jul 26,2016 - Last updated at Jul 26,2016

Prime Minister Hani Mulki delivers a speech on behalf of His Majesty King Abdullah at the Arab League summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah has renewed his call to reform the Arab League and breathe new life into joint Arab action.

In a speech at the Nouakchott-hosted 27th session of the Arab League summit, delivered by Prime Minister Hani Mulki, His Majesty thanked Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for hosting the summit and congratulated former Egyptian foreign minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit, for his election to the post of Arab League secretary general, replacing Nabil El Araby.

His Majesty said that history has proven that joint Arab action is essential for the security and stability of our region and the prosperity of our peoples, stressing that Jordan has, for decades, sought to develop the joint Arab action and make a qualitative leap in the performance of pan-Arab institutions, hoping that this reform would lead to increasing their achievements and empowering them to confront the massive challenges and play more effective roles in international arenas.

“This reform is needed today more than ever,” he said, adding that it is time for the Arab League and its institutions to start a new era that reflects Arab peoples' hopes and aspirations.

“… Our challenges are the same and our security and futures are connected, making joint Arab action indispensable”.

The King said the winds of terrorism that are blowing in the region do not recognise borders or nationalities, stressing that terrorists seek to distort the image of Islam and its message of tolerance and, therefore, the anti-terror fight is the fight of Muslims against the khawarej (outlaws of Islam) of this age. 

“It is a war in defence of our faith and future. We can either rise to face terrorism as individual states, or we take the right decision and face it collectively, following a holistic approach,” he said, urging close coordination with the international community. 

Regarding the Syrian crisis, the King noted that consequences have been mounting and affecting the region and the world, let alone the catastrophic situations under which Syrians are living. 

“As we stress on the inevitability of an inclusive political solution, which ensures the participation of all the components of the Syrian population, I would like here to commend the great efforts that have been and are being exerted by the sisterly Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of my brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to unify the ranks of the [Syrian] opposition and form its negotiating delegation, in addition to its efforts to bring about a political solution that ends the suffering of the Syrians and ensures the integrity of their lands,” the Monarch told the summit. 

His Majesty stressed that despite the interlacing issues that are overwhelming the region and the shift in priorities, the Palestinian issue remains the  central cause and the primary challenge in the Middle East.

He warned that while the world is preoccupied with other issues and conflicts, Israel is taking advantage of the situation to continue its aggression on the Palestinian people, through settlement expansion in occupied lands and repeated transgressions on the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, which he vows to continue efforts to protect. 

“In accordance with the Hashemite custodianship over Jerusalem’s holy sites, and in coordination with my brother His Excellency Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and our brothers in Palestine, we affirm our commitment to upholding our religious and historical duty in protecting the holy sites in Jerusalem and standing up to Israeli violations, especially those that target Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, using all available means.”

He urged the international community to shoulder its moral and legal responsibilities and work on ensuring that Israel ceases its illegal policies and practices, particularly those to do with settlements and its attempts to change the status quo.

On a different note, the King commended the efforts of Kuwait, in hosting the Yemeni peace negotiations. 

 

“We also reaffirm our full support for the legitimacy in Yemen, represented by His Excellency President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and for the Arab coalition and its efforts to shore up legitimacy and restore security and stability in Yemen, ensuring its geographic unity.”

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