Tunisia chairs 4th Arab-European Foreign Ministers meeting in Cairo

(TAP) – The 4th Arab-European Foreign Ministers meeting was held Tuesday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Khemaïes Jhinaoui.

Tunisia has assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the League of Arab States at its 146th session since September 2016. It will continue until March 2017.

The meeting, which was attended by 49 foreign ministers, was chaired on the Arab side by Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, and on the European side by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini.

At the opening of the meeting, Jhinaoui stressed the importance of the Arab-European dialogue, saying it will help to boost the relations of co-operation and partnership between the two spaces and to address the challenges.

He also stressed the importance of the European role in the settlement of several issues in the region, in particular the Palestinian issue, stressing the need to ensure the success of related initiatives, so as to end up with a fair and just settlement on the basis of international law.

The Tunisian FM, who called for resolving the crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen, stressed the need for a common front against terrorism and a common strategy to combat it.

For Federica Mogherini, the 4th Arab-European foreign ministers meeting should focus mainly on how to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism targeting civilians. “Several victims have been killed because of the successive terrorist attacks perpetrated in several countries across the world,” she said.

She also stressed the need to foster Euro-Arab cooperation in all fields, particularly in the fight against illegal emigration.

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, for his part, warned against the serious consequences of the situation in Syria on the region and called on the European countries to use all their political and diplomatic weight to put an end to the violence in that country and lead to a political settlement in accordance with the first Geneva conference on Syria.

“The Palestinian issue remains the direct cause of instability in the region,” he said, stressing the need to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

He also called for Arab-European action to find a peaceful political solution to the crisis in that country.

Several regional and international issues were on the agenda of the 4th Arab-European foreign ministers meeting. These include the Palestinian cause, the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni issues, as well as the situation in Iraq, Lebanon and the Sahel region.

The meeting also focused on security co-operation, with particular reference to the fight against terrorism and organised crime, the issues of migration and asylum and economic co-operation and partnership between the two areas.


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