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UAE chairs Arab League's emergency ministerial meeting on Turkish military intervention in Iraq

posted on 26/12/2015: 1548 views

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UAE, chaired an extraordinary session of the Arab League's Foreign Ministers Council to discuss an Arab action over Turkey's military incursion into Mosul, northern Iraq.

The emergency meeting, held at the official request of Iraq and backed by a number of Arab countries, will also discuss a request from the UAE to include the issue of Iran's interventions in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil el-Arabi and Foreign Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, attended the meeting, held at the pan-Arab organisation's headquarters In his opening remarks, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UAE, said Arab states supporting Iraq's request include Kuwait, Jordan, Tunisia, Mauritania and Lebanon.

"Moreover, the meeting will discuss a request from the UAE to include Iran's interventions in the internal affairs of Arab states, and a request from Qatar to include the issue of the Qatari citizens abducted earlier this month in southern Iraq," he added.

"It is clear that the Arab region is going through delicate circumstances and everyone knows the scale of the surrounding dangers threatening stability, namely the attempts to damage territorial sovereignty, which continues to be the most important guarantee of pan-Arab national security."

Gargash said, "In addition to spreading terrorism disguised as Islamic, we are seeing persistent attempts to incite civilian strife within society in Arab states to damage the pan-Arab national security from inside and outside and spread biased propaganda. All this makes us cling to international law and conventions", he said, calling all parties to respect the territorial sovereignty of all states and refrain from interfering in their internal territorial affairs.

Minister Gargash stated, "While we, the Arab states, ensure that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of other states, we strongly reject any intervention from others in our internal affairs under any pretext and in any form whatsoever. We stress on this because we are greatly concerned by attempts by some regional powers to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states. While today's meeting is being held to discuss Turkey's intervention in Iraq, it does presents a favourable opportunity to discuss other forms of intervention whether by Turkey or Iran, as well as ways to defend our pan-Arab national security and the territorial sovereignty of our states from any manifestations of, and dangers posed by this intervention"

He added, "What makes us even more concerned is that the flagrant Turkish and Iranian interventions have negatively impacted stability in a number of Arab states because these have been violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of these Arab states and cannot be condoned, accommodated or bargained with. The states that seek to damage our pan-Arab national security should not be tempted by some manifestations of the temporary weakness of the Arab system. That is because our sovereignty, security and territorial integrity constitute a red line where we are required to defend them with all our force backed by the text of the Charter of the Arab League, and the Charter of the United Nations which deem territorial sovereignty the cornerstone of sound relations between states and also consider any damage to territorial sovereignty a form of aggression."

Minister Gargash also said, "Based on our awareness of the fact that we live in one region, it is in the interest of all to create common ground for cooperation and confidence between all parties based on common interests, mutual respect for the sovereignty of all and the principle of good-neighbourly relations."

Calling for commitment to these principles, the UAE minister said Iraq and Arab countries share the same cause of suffering because the principle of respect for territorial sovereignty in an indivisible one and should be respected by all for the good of all.

The UAE minister expressed the hope that participants at the meeting would agree that relations between Arab states and their neighbours should be built on mutual respect for national sovereignty while emphasising that it should be protected with full determination.

For his part, Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil el-Arabi said the quick and strong support for holding the emergency meeting clearly shows the Arab support for Iraq.

While expressing the Arab League's support for Iraq's diplomatic efforts to convince Turkey to withdraw its troops deployed to northern Iraq, the Arab League chief hoped that Turkey would respond to these efforts.

The UAE's request to include the issue of Iran's interventions in the internal affairs of Arab countries in the agenda of the meeting constitutes a proper introduction for discussing all issues of protecting pan-Arab national security, he added.

El-Arabi expressed the Arab League's support for the Iraqi government's counter-terrorism efforts including its current fight against ISIL (Daesh).

The UAE delegation to the meeting included Ambassador of the UAE to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Dhaheri; Director of Arab Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jasim Al Khaloufi; Assistant Undersecretary for Protocol Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shihab Al Faheem; In-charge of the UAE Representative Office at the Arab League, Ali Al Shamili; and Member of the UAE Representative Office at the Arab League, Hani bin Huwaiden. – Emirates News Agency WAM -


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