Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit anticipated that the upcoming Arab Summit, to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 19, will make a significant impact on the overall Arab situation.
In a televised interview on Wednesday, Aboul Gheit announced that Arab foreign ministers are scheduled to convene a preparatory meeting for the upcoming Arab Summit on May 17 in Jeddah.
Preceding this, permanent representatives will hold meetings on May 16.
Aboul Gheit voiced his optimism that the summit will see the highest turnout of Arab leaders and foreign ministers and said he is hopeful that it will leave a distinct mark and bring about positive change in the Arab situation.
The secretary-general clarified that Arab summits typically follow a traditional agenda that covers a wide range of topics, including political, economic, social, security, and cultural issues.
Aboul Gheit discussed the crisis in Syria and the potential for the country to rejoin the Arab League.
He revealed that he had received a phone call from Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi about a recent ministerial meeting in Amman.
Aboul Gheit stated that it is within the rights of Arab countries to convene and discuss matters of concern, but said he believes that it will take a considerable amount of time and incremental steps to reinstate Syria’s position within the Arab League.
The Arab League chief provided further clarification that “there is a specific legal context in the Arab League Charter for the mechanism of Syria’s reinstatement into the Arab League.”
He affirmed that “it is within the right of a state or a group of states to request a discussion about the issue of Syria’s readmission to its position in the Arab League, particularly since Syria was not expelled from the League, but rather had its membership suspended.”
Aboul Gheit added that he does not know whether Syria will return to the Arab League or not.
He affirmed that he has not received any correspondence informing him of a special meeting to discuss Syria’s return to the League.
He noted that if there is agreement on Syria’s return, a call will be made at any moment for a special meeting of Arab foreign ministers.
Aboul Gheit commented on the situation in Lebanon, stating that there could be a new president in the country soon. He called on all parties in Lebanon to prioritize the national interest over personal interests and take responsibility for their country.