Collective Arab effort needed to face challenges, UAE FM Gargash

The 144th session of the Arab Foreign Ministers’ Council began in Cairo on Sunday at the Arab League headquarters under the new chairmanship of the UAE, represented by foreign minister Dr. Anwar Gargash, after taking over the presidency from Jordan.

He dwelt on all major issues confronting the Arab World and called for unity and collective efforts against crises and threats they confront.

In his opening remarks, Gargash warned that terrorism has no identity and “targets state after state” before urging members of the league to turn counter-terrorism resolutions into policies to effectively combat the scourge that has evolved to challenge nations and state institutions.

He said counter-terrorism methods should include blocking sources of funding, promoting moderate religious discourse against extremism and protecting the youth from “the destructive propaganda of the terrorist groups.” The Arab media was urged to play an active part in the fight.

Gargash stated that “no security or stability will prevail in the Arab region” unless the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solved with an end to “Israeli oppressive practices and violations of international laws” and the recognition of the 1967 borders.

UAE is also engaged in a territorial dispute with Iran over three islands and Gargash urged Tehran to accept UAE’s call for “a just settlement on the issue” either through negotiations or at the International Court of Justice. He also urged Iran to review its regional policies because they are “triggering troubles and sedition” in Arab countries.

Switching his attention to Yemen, Gargash said the Houthi rebels should respect the U.N Security Council Resolution 2216 and similar resolutions issued by the 26th Arab Summit to end the war.

The UAE minister also chaired a special closed-door meeting on the situation in Syria. The meeting was attended by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan De Mistura, who briefed the Arab Foreign Ministers on his efforts with Syrian parties to reach a political solution for the crisis, including the working groups he proposed to deal with the military, security, political, reconstruction and development issues in Syria.

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