CAIRO: The Arab League’s secretary-general has appealed for Arabs to “wake up” to the growing threats to regional identity posed by Iran, Turkey, and Israel.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned that any erosion of the league’s role — to promote closer political, economic, cultural, and social relations among member states — may lead to a “handover” of control of the region to other countries.
He pointed out that Iran and Turkey were interfering in the affairs of many Arab states, Ethiopia was imposing its power over Nile waters, and the Palestinian issue was becoming more complicated, all of which was putting pressure on the Arab League and the whole region. And he condemned recent calls for the work of the Arab League to be ended.
“End the Arab League and we hand over the region to Turkey and Iran who will establish the Middle East region, allow Israel in and control the entire region.
“We Arabs must wake up because there is a threatening pressure on the Arab identity of the region,” he added. Aboul Gheit’s comments came as he spoke to media about his hope for Palestinian “action” following the agreement between Israel and the UAE to establish normal political and economic relations.
He said the historic peace deal, along with a similar US-brokered normalization accord between Israel and Bahrain, had succeeded in irreversible halting of Israeli plans for annexing parts of the West Bank.
He added that he appreciated Palestinian concerns regarding the agreements and accused US President Donald Trump’s administration of having been unfair to the Palestinians. In the wake of the Oslo Accords (between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization), Arab states had started opening offices in Israel, noted Aboul Gheit, but following the uprising they had withdrawn their representatives.
Since the Arab Spring, a number of Arab countries had collapsed or had been weakened under the bullying influences of other regional parties, he said, and internal conditions had led to the emergence of political Islam on an unprecedented scale, leaving a current situation he described as catastrophic.
The so-called Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE were signed under the auspices of Trump at the White House on Sept. 15.