Israel plotting to annex more Palestinian territories: Arab League chief

Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Aboul Gheit during his interview with MENA.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Aboul Gheit during his interview with MENA.

CAIRO — Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Aboul Gheit said on Wednesday that Israel plans to legitimize its occupation of Palestinian lands before the international community with its annexation plan.

Aboul Gheit, in an interview with the Editor in Chief of the Middle East News Agency (MENA) Ali Hasan, stressed that Israelis are seeking through its annexation plan to attribute a kind of false legitimacy to their occupation since 1967.

Aboul Gheit said despite the apparent difficulties imposed by the coronavirus a meeting of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level took place last April and viewed the Israeli annexation plan as a war crime, while asserting that the Arab diplomatic moves that had been taken in New York were in this vein.

He added that a global rejection and Arab diplomacy has succeeded in mobilizing this refusal and articulating it so that Israel feels a degree of isolation, and this may have slowed and stalled the Israeli plan that was to take place. Its implementation was due on the first of July.

The Arab peace initiative is the still the only basis for a solution from the Arab side, and it requires normal relations between Israel and the Arab world and Islam, he noted.

On Libya’s problem, Aboul Gheit underlined the importance of the Cairo Declaration initiative on Libya and mechanisms for dealing with the situation at the military, security, political and economic levels.

Libyan parties need to stop fighting and engage in the political process, a path welcomed by the Arab League Council in its recent emergency meeting which also received, Arab, regional and international support, he said.

“The Arab League cannot accept that the situation in Libya does not represent a threat to the security and stability of the immediate Arab neighbors, Egypt and Algeria,” Aboul Gheit added.

As for the stance of regional and international interference in Libya, he said that the Arab League rejects and condemns all forms of interference in Libya.

On Turkish ambitions of coveting Arab resources through its interference in Syria, Iraq and Libya, he said, “The Arab League stance is clear, rejecting Turkish interference in the Arab affairs.”

On Yemen, Aboul Gheit said, the Yemeni scene is still very disturbing, while expressing alarm at the political conflicts and the most serious humanitarian crisis.

Yemen suffers from several epidemics at the same time, COVID-19, cholera, malaria and that 80 percent of Yemenis need urgent humanitarian assistance, he said.

He added the attempts made by the UN to reach a political solution between the Yemeni government and the Houthis is ongoing, while the Houthis decision is still contingent on Iran and it does not seem that they can get rid of the state’s control of the decision in Sanaa.

On Iraq, Aboul Gheit said the new government is trying to preserve the country’s stability and defend its sovereignty in difficult circumstances, while expressing regret that regional interventions deepen the country’s crisis and entrench existing conflicts.

On Syria’s restoration of its seat in the Arab League, Aboul Gheit said, Syria is an Arab country and its place is ultimately among its nations.

And, on Lebanon, he expressed fears that the fragile peace in Lebanon could be threatened by the tremendous economic and social pressures.

He appealed to all countries and organizations not to leave Lebanon alone during these difficult times, while calling for a solution to save its economy. — KUNA