Lebanon News

Moussa: Israel has no say in regional security before two-state solution

KASLIK: Arab League Chief Amr Moussa stressed Thursday that Israel will not have a say in the security, present or future, of the region before it agrees on the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 territories with East Jerusalem as a capital, adding that such a step should be officially recognized by the UN.

“Israel should also withdraw from occupied Golan Heights, remaining seized Lebanese territories, and provide a just solution for the problem of the Palestinian refugees based on the right of return and compensations,” Mousa said.

Moussa made his remarks during a ceremony marking 65 years since the founding of the Arab League on March 22, 1945.

The event, convened by the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), was attended by Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Ali al-Shami, representing President Michel Sleiman, USEK rector Father Hady Mahfouz, director of the USEK Higher Institute of Political and Administrative Sciences George Yahchouchi, vice president of al-Walid Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation Leila al-Solh Hamade, and Kesrouan MP Farid al-Khazen.

“I speak to you amid clear Arab regression manifested in cultural and educational decay  and a weak Arab contribution in the world’s march toward a new technologically advanced globe characterized by respecting human rights and democratic systems” Moussa said.

He noted that the time had come for a new modern Arab World that seeks to organize common Arab interests that achieve advancement, prosperity, security and immunity.

The Arab League chief called for adopting an “Arab Neighborhood Policy” headed by the Arab League with the aim of  addressing the region’s main concerns in collaboration with Iran and Turkey.

Concerning questions raised about the achievements of the Arab League in its 65th anniversary, Moussa underlined the fact that the Arab League lacks the authority of enforcing the implementation of its decisions on member states, adding that the league mirrors Arab feuds as well as agreements.

“But in spite of this, we were able to make several accomplishments regarding holding annual Arab summits and requiring simple majority instead of unanimous voting in taking decisions,” Moussa added.

Regarding Lebanon, Moussa voiced the Arab Leagues’ satisfaction for the prevailing consensus and understanding among Lebanese groups stressing that the Arab League would always stand beside Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Father Mahfouz welcomed the attendants and  praised the role played by the league. “We meet today to celebrate the anniversary of the Arab league emphasizing our firm faith in this establishment’s role in developing Arab society and promoting its openness.”

Mahfouz highlighted the importance of developing the Arab League’s institutions. “The atmosphere of globalization is pushing toward common work and cooperation leading to additional economic, social and cultural solidarity among states, the fact that necessitates the development of the Arab League institutions and especially the executive branch.”

For her part, Hamade slammed some Arab states’ violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

“They rushed to help us when some parties instigated a civil war in 1975, but is it acceptable that the rescuer enslaves the victim?”

Shami, meanwhile, paid tribute to the Arab League for “transforming common Arab work to an Arab value and consensus and for giving momentum for the notion of Arabism.”

Shami detailed the contributions of the Arab League frommaintaining peace in Lebanon and especially sponsoring the 1989 Taif accord and the 2008 Doha accords.

The minister praised efforts made by the Arab League chief  since he assumed his office regarding the design of a comprehensive structural reform for the body.





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