Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry travelled to Mauritania Friday to attend the foreign ministers meeting ahead of the upcoming Arab League summit from 25 to 26 July.
During the meeting, Shoukry passed the authority of the summit’s chair to Mauritania after Egypt held this position in 2015.
The minister delivered a speech in which he said Egypt’s permanent goal has been “supporting the concept of a just, inclusive country that seeks to fulfil its citizens’ aspirations without sectarian or race discrimination.”
Egypt took advantage of its position as chair of the summit synchronising with Egypt’s election to a seat in the UN Security Council to put Arab files on the international agenda.
The meeting’s agenda includes discussion of the Syrian civil war, disputes over forming a Joint Arab Force, Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories, and reviving the bilateral peace process to establish a Palestinian state.
It is expected that this year’s summit will highlight support of Yemeni president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s constitutional legitimacy as well as Arab nations’ refusal of any military interference in Libya. It has been argued that this would lead to disastrous consequences.
Earlier in March, twenty Arab foreign ministers elected new Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, after his predecessor Nabil El-Araby decided not to seek another term.
Following his nomination, Aboul-Gheit pledged that the Arab League would combat regional challenges, enhance its capacity, and increase collaboration between its members.
Only two countries chose not to vote for Aboul-Gheit as the new secretary-general. Qatar said it wanted to postpone the election and refused to comment further, while Sudan decided not to vote for Aboul-Gheit because they wanted to nominate their own candidate.