Sunday 23 June 2024

Arab Summit's success highlights Bahrain’s vital pan-Arab role

MANAMA, May 18, 2024

The success of the 33rd Arab Summit affirms Bahrain’s high standing and its important pan-Arab role under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, reported BNA citing a senior official.
Lauding the leadership for the successful summit, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said that it was characterised by positivity and optimism, demonstrating the determination of their Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses the Arab leaders on consolidating Arab solidarity and unifying efforts to counter challenges facing the Arab world, its security and stability, and development.
Dr Al Zayani was speaking at the press conference along with Ahmed Abul El Gheit, the Secretary General of the Arab League, on the outcomes of the 33rd Arab Summit hosted by Bahrain.
Dr Al Zayani started his remarks by expressing the pride of the kingdom in presiding over the summit for the second time. The first time was in Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt in 2003. The second presidency of Bahrain during this session of the summit coincides with the first time it hosts it.
He said that the Arab leaders discussed reports submitted by the General Secretariat on Arab joint action and efforts to advance cooperation and integration on political, security and economic levels, reported BNA. 
They endorsed the proposed recommendations and resolutions regarding items on the agenda and discussed regional and international developments, it added.
Dr Al Zayani said the Arab leaders underscored the importance of consolidating joint action in light of the current regional and international developments, to maintain security, stability and peace in the region and the world. 
The minister indicated that this approach sought to emphasise unified stances of Arab states on achieving peace and the importance of the region in the context of the global economy, security and peace.
Furthermore, Dr Al Zayani said that the leaders endorsed the Bahrain Declaration at the summit. The declaration asserted Arab condemnation of the destructive Israeli war on the Gaza Strip which has led to large scale losses of lives and property, in addition to the ongoing Israeli violations in occupied Arab land. 
The leaders called for immediate measures to achieve a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, releasing hostages and detainees and facilitate entry of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of civilians.
Dr Al Zayani indicated that the Arab leaders reiterated the firm position and call for a just and comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue, the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital based on a two-state solution and international legitimacy resolutions. 
They also emphasised support for the request of full Palestinian membership in the United Nations. The leaders stressed the imperative of preserving the unity and independence of Arab states, ending all disputes and non-interference in internal affairs.
The leaders also highlighted the importance of fostering values of tolerance, human coexistence and understanding among religions and cultures to promote world peace and stability. 
This is in addition to the rejection of any support for armed groups or militias that operate outside the sovereignty of states; combating extremism, hate speech and incitement; reaffirming commitment to the freedom of maritime navigation; and the reiteration of the call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
The declaration also underlined the determination to continue efforts to strengthen partnerships, strategic dialogues and joint cooperation with international blocs and friendly countries, as well as the keenness to cooperate closely with the United Nations and its specialised agencies to address global challenges, maintain international peace and security, and support their efforts in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Dr. Al Zayani also highlighted that the Arab leaders endorsed key initiatives proposed by Bahrain, which include:
*Issuing a collective call to convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to resolve the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution, which ends the Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab territories, embodying an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, to live in peace and security alongside Israel, as a way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.
*Immediate action to engage with foreign ministers of the world to urge them to quickly recognise the state of Palestine.
*Providing educational services to those affected by conflicts in the region.
*Improving healthcare for those affected by conflicts in the region.
*Developing Arab cooperation in the field of financial technology, innovation and digital transformation.
The minister then read the statement of Arab leaders regarding the Gaza Strip which condemned the continued brutal Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, the crimes committed against Palestinian civilians and Israel's unprecedented violations of international law and international humanitarian law- which include targeting civilians and civilian installations, the use of blockade as a weapon, starvation and attempts at forced displacement, and the resulting death and injury of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.
The statement also denounced the expansion of the Israeli aggression to Rafah, which has become a refuge for more than one million displaced persons, and its catastrophic humanitarian consequences. 
It condemned the Israeli occupying forces' control over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, which is aimed at tightening the blockade on civilians. This has led to the suspension of the crossing and the entry of humanitarian aid.
Dr Al Zayani said the leaders called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a halt to all attempts at forced displacement, an end to all forms of blockade, allowing the full and sustained entry of humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip, and Israel's immediate withdrawal from Rafah.
For his part, the Arab League Secretary General said the large attendance at the Arab Summit demonstrated the high regard from the Arab countries and governments to Bahrain and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He noted that the 33rd Arab Summit was held in a very calm atmosphere and did not witness any disagreements. He added that the Palestinian cause and the situation in Rafah took centre stage at the summit.
This was clearly demonstrated when Arab leaders issued a special statement, in addition to the Bahrain Declaration, half of which was devoted to the Palestinian issue, he added. 
Royal Court Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to all ministries, government institutions and the private sector that contributed to the national efforts in organising the event. He also praised all citizens and residents for co-operating with the authorities.


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