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Egypt’s ex-foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit appointed as Arab League chief

By Tajuddin
In DIPLOMAT MEMO
Mar 11th, 2016
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File photo shows Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit attending a special African Union summit in Tripoli, capital of Libya, Aug. 31, 2009. Ahmed Abul-Gheit has been appointed as the secretary-general of the Arab League, it announced late March 10, 2016. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

File photo shows Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit attending a special African Union summit in Tripoli, capital of Libya, Aug. 31, 2009. Ahmed Abul-Gheit has been appointed as the secretary-general of the Arab League, it announced late March 10, 2016. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

Cairo,Egypt (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Egyptian former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was appointed Thursday as the new secretary-general of the Arab League.

In an emergency meeting in Cairo, the Arab League council unanimously agreed to appoint Abul-Gheit as the new chief to replace outgoing secretary-general Nabil Al-Araby, 80, who declined a second 5-year term.

According to Article 12 of the Arab League Pact, the secretary-general is to be appointed upon the vote of two-thirds of the member states, currently 21 after the suspension of Syria’s membership over its crisis.

Abul-Gheit served as Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 until 2011 under former long-time leader Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by mass protests in February 2011.

CAIRO, March 10, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers' urgent meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on March 10, 2016. Egyptian former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was appointed Thursday as the new secretary-general of the Arab League. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

CAIRO, March 10, 2016 (Xinhua) — A general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ urgent meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on March 10, 2016. Egyptian former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was appointed Thursday as the new secretary-general of the Arab League. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Egypt’s nomination of Abul-Gheit for the post was initially rejected by Qatar and Sudan, and a four-member committee of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was formed earlier on Thursday to discuss the objections.

The outgoing Arab League chief Al-Araby said Thursday that he “recommended the Arab League council to update the body’s pact to cope with the regional changes.”

CAIRO, March 10, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers' urgent meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on March 10, 2016. Egyptian former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was appointed Thursday as the new secretary-general of the Arab League. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

CAIRO, March 10, 2016 (Xinhua) — A general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ urgent meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on March 10, 2016. Egyptian former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was appointed Thursday as the new secretary-general of the Arab League. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Founded in Cairo in 1945, the Arab League is a regional organization of Arab states with the main goal of drawing closer inter-Arab relations and coordinating Arab positions on regional and international issues.

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