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Mangoush Not First Woman to Chair Arab League FMs Session

Mangoush Not First Woman to Chair Arab League FMs Session

Wednesday, 7 September, 2022 - 08:15
(L to R) Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Najla Mangoush, and Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki attend a meeting of the Arab League Foreign Ministers in the Egyptian capital Cairo on September 6, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

An ordinary session for Arab League foreign ministers kickstarted on Tuesday in Cairo with Libya heading the meeting after taking over from Lebanon to chair the talks.

The session is being led by Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush, who indicated in a tweet that she is “the first woman to chair the meeting of Arab foreign ministers.”

“I am overjoyed and proud that Libya has regained leadership of the ministerial meeting of the Arab League for the first time in 9 years, and I am honored to be the first woman to lead the healing of Arabs on the land of Egypt,” tweeted Mangoush.

“We hope that this will be a good start for our country to return to its pioneering role at the heart of the Arab family,” added Mangoush.

Despite Mangoush’s claims, she is not the first woman to head a meeting for Arab League foreign ministers. Two women had chaired Arab League meetings before.

In July 2014, Morocco's Minister-Delegate of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mbarka Bouaida chaired an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers held in Cairo.

Morocco chaired the 141st Arab League session and Bouaida was chosen to stand in place of former Moroccan Foreign Minister Salah Mezouar, who could not attend the session at the time due to his travel abroad.

As for the second woman to chair a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, she was Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vatma Vall Mint Soueina.

Soueina chaired a session held in March 2015 to prepare for an Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Five Arab women have held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The first female Arab foreign minister was Mauritania’s Naha Mint Mouknass, who was appointed in the government of Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf between 2009 and 2011.

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