Arab meet vows all-out efforts to crush IS terror

Updated 08 September 2014

Arab meet vows all-out efforts to crush IS terror

CAIRO: Arab League foreign ministers agreed on Sunday to take all necessary measures to confront Islamic State and cooperate with international, regional and national efforts to combat militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria.
The Arab League also endorsed in the closing statement of its meeting in Cairo a UN Security Council resolution passed last month calling on member states to “act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.”
Baghdad had earlier submitted a draft resolution endorsing its own efforts to confront militants who have seized large areas for a cross-border caliphate and to condemn Islamic State’s actions as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The final text did not directly endorse either the Iraqi or US campaign against Islamic State, but diplomatic sources said the wording clearly offered Arab cooperation to US and Iraqi efforts and could be read as a tacit agreement to back Washington’s campaign against the group.
At the opening session, several foreign ministers spoke of the gravity of the challenge posed by Islamic State in Iraq as well as the violence that has engulfed Libya and other regions.
Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told the session that the rise of the group in Iraq challenged not merely the authority of the state but “its very existence and the existence of other states” and called for a decisive resolution to confront terrorism militarily, politically, economically and culturally.
He appealed to member states to confront “militarily and politically” Islamic State insurgents, an apparent call to arms.
He suggested that military action could take place under the umbrella of an Arab League joint defense pact.
It was not clear whether the Arab commitment to take all necessary action against the IS and other militant groups would include direct military involvement in Iraq or Syria.
Elaraby himself noted that the Arab League’s member states have failed to help each other in the past when facing local armed groups, often because of disagreements and fear of being accused of meddling in one another’s affairs. Those challenges include Iraq as well as the militia violence now tearing Libya apart and other conflicts.


Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

Updated 14 October 2019

Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

  • Saied garnered 2.7 million votes against one million received by his rival business tycoon Nabil Karoui in Sunday's runoff, the commission said

TUNIS: Tunisia's election commission said a preliminary count shows conservative law professor Kais Saied has won the country's presidential election by a significant margin.
The commission reported Monday that Saied, who hasn't held elected office before, received 72.71% of the vote. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui, got 27.29%.
The results confirm exit polls from Sunday's election.
Nabil Bafoun, head of the electoral commission, said "by looking at the result ... and knowing that it represents an absolute majority for this second round of the presidential elections, we, the Tunisian electoral commission, declare Mister Kais Saied winner of the presidential elections."
The commission said that Saied got a majority of the votes in each of the 33 electoral districts. He exceeded 90% in six traditionally very conservative southern districts.
The 61-year-old Saied is an independent outsider but has support from moderate party Ennahdha, which won Tunisia's parliamentary election last week.
He has promised to overhaul the country's governing structure to give more power to young people and local governments.
Karoui, 56, told supporters Sunday the race wasn't over because his legal team would explore options. He was arrested Aug. 23 in a corruption investigation and released with only two days left to campaign.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Saied for his election in a phone call Monday and wished him "success for Tunisia."
Macron stressed the Tunisian people's "democratic mobilization" over the past several weeks. He told Saied that he intends to pursue and enhance the partnership between the two countries.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi congratulated the Tunisian people and the elected president in a written statement.
If no legal action is taken to challenge the results, the electoral body is set to announce the definitive vote count on Thursday. Tunisia's parliament will then hold an extraordinary session during which the newly elected president will be sworn in and will formally start his five-year term.
The presidential vote was held early following the July death in office of President Beji Caid Essebsi.