Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Aboul Gheit Identifies Risks Threatening Security of Arab Region

Aboul Gheit Identifies Risks Threatening Security of Arab Region

Thursday, 11 January, 2018 - 13:30
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Reuters

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit stressed that the region is still recovering from the unprecedented turbulence of 2011, describing it as a “sudden and terrible collapse of stable and dominant political and security systems."

In his speech in the National Defense College (NDC) in Oman on Wednesday, Aboul Gheit said that the security of the Arab region is one continuous and connected chain.

“The targeting of Iranian manufactured Houthi rockets is dangerous; it poses a threat to all the Arab countries, not only to Saudi Arabia. The Jerusalem issue, in all its manifestations, does not belong solely to the Palestinians, and the threat posed on Egypt’s water, knowing that the country’s population constitutes quarter of the Arabs, poses a threat to its national security and a threat to the Arab national security,” Aboul Gheit said.

He called for "a comprehensive view of the threats that extend from Muscat to Casablanca," pointing to the region's suffering from "a huge vacuum of power within vast areas inhabited by millions of people, especially in Libya and Syria, where this vacuum was exploited for the benefit of terrorist organizations, such as ISIS until it reached areas in the Maghreb.”

"The state of vacuum in the Middle East fueled the ambitions of Iran, which found a foothold amidst the prevailing chaos, and the clear strategic vacuum made the region vulnerable to regional interference on the one hand and prey for the terrorist groups on the other hand," he explained.

"The events proved that what is happening in Libya is not far from what is going on in Syria, and the chaos in Yemen is not far from the developments in Beirut," Aboul Gheit said.

"The danger is common, so we have to turn this realization into a reality that allows the Arabs to move as an impressive mass,” he added, stressing that these interventions can only be faced by addressing the root cause of their spread, which is weakening national states and eroding their control over some of their national territory.

Aboul Gheit pointed out that the first step towards an Arab security system is that each country recognizes that risks threatening its neighbors are a threat to its security.

He expressed optimism that "the situation is improving despite the seriousness of the threats facing the Arab region."

The ability of the Arab region to mobilize all its resources and efforts to confront and respond to threats "is still very limited, which requires the activation of the Arab security system, and the work to address the inter-Arab differences, which is still a delayed dream, although it is needed to be achieved nowadays more than ever before,” Aboul Gheit said.

Editor Picks