Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, has said that the Trump administration’s policies towards the Palestine-Israel conflict will remain unchanged under President-elect Joe Biden.
This comes despite the new US administration’s expected improved relations with the Palestinians, Aboul Gheit added. This is due to outgoing President Donald Trump having given certain, and unprecedented, measures in favour of the Israelis.
Aboul Gheit noted that Biden will be unable to undo all the measures put in place by Trump. He will, however, be able to amend the situation with the Palestinians and improve the US’ relationship with them.
The Arab League Secretary-General expressed his hope that this would lead to the launch of serious negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis as soon as possible. This would then allow for an independent Palestinian state to be established, he said, adding that any move that helps the goal of establishing such a state is a positive move that must be supported.
Aboul Gheit’s remarks came during a lecture, entitled “A Story of Two Books”, that was moderated by Cairo University President Mohamed Elkhosht, that he gave at Cairo University’s Great Hall.
The lecture reviewed his two books, A Witness to War and Peace, and My Testimony, which contain Aboul Gheit’s memoirs on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the peace process. It also covers his tenure with Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 2004 to 2011.
In his speech, Aboul Gheit focused on the circumstances that prompted him to write the two books, part of which was his keenness to contribute to forming an institutional memory of the Ancient Egyptian diplomatic apparatus. He also said that his books are not a history, but a direct testimony to the events from his point of view.
He added that the books are a summary of his experiences, and his vision of determinants in Egyptian national security throughout history and in contemporary times.
In response to student questions, Aboul Gheit said that the new Biden administration will manage the Iranian nuclear file differently to previous administrations. This comes in light of its efforts to return to the agreement that was signed with Iran regarding its nuclear programme in 2015.
He also said that restoring the agreement without modifying Iran’s regional behaviour would entail a threat for the countries of the region.
Responding to questions about the future of the Arab region, Aboul Gheit affirmed that the first step towards making the future consists of restoring and strengthening states. This also entails strengthening their internal immunity and their ability to meet the needs of their citizens,
He highlighted that the Arab Spring, which started in Tunisia in December 2010, has weakened many countries in the region. This has given Iran the opportunity to envision the possibility of regaining its bygone imperial dominance, as well as providing Turkey with the possibility of returning to the days of the Ottoman Empire.