In their fourth ministerial meeting, the Arab League and European Union (EU) countries condemned the recent atrocities of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and his allies, according to a joint statement issued by ministers of both sides.
The meeting that is currently held in Egypt, with Tunisian foreign affairs minister Khemaies Jhinaoui representing the Arab countries and EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini representing the EU countries, also condemned the usage of chemical weapons by all factions in Syria and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation. They also committed to reconstructing Syria once an inclusive political transition is underway.
The ministers also condemned the acts and policies of Israel and their illegal occupation. They demanded the end of the siege on the Palestinian capital of Gaza and highlighted the importance of Israel’s adherence to international rights declarations.
The joint statement also read that the ministers agreed on fostering ties between the EU and Arab countries in all fields and on all levels. They further agreed on launching a strategic dialogue in order to facilitate both sides’ discussions on security and political issues.
Regarding the situation in Yemen, the ministers stressed their support to the legitimate president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. They condemned independent measures that are taken by Houthi rebels and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, including forming an illegitimate government.
The ministers agreed that there should be strong relations with Iran; however, with no intervention in domestic affairs.
The statement also said that both sides refused foreign intervention in Libya and praised the idea of appointing an envoy from the Arab League to the oil-rich country. It added that they support financial and political support to the Government of National Accord.
The joint statement was released on Tuesday following the conclusion of the opening session, during which Jhinaoui gave a speech.
The Tunisian foreign minister discussed terrorism in his speech, saying that this phenomenon should not only be tackled by security, but that it needs cooperation from all sides.
Mogherini condemned the terrorist attacks that recently occurred in Egypt, Germany, Turkey, and Jordan. She said that these attacks only motivate countries to counter terrorism. She added that more cooperation between Arab and European countries will lead to an ability to solve the current issues and turmoil in Syria, Libya, and Yemen as they have direct influence on the EU.
Secretary general of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit also gave a speech in which he condemned the acts of Al-Assad in Syria. He also called on the United Nations (UN) security council to adhere to its responsibility of maintaining peace and security, and on the Europeans to help end the struggle in Syria.
Aboul-Gheit concluded his speech by urging the EU and international communities to block the attempts of Israel to get a seat in the UN security council.