Arab League granted full membership of Mediterranean Union


Brussels : Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa has said that the decision to grant the League full participating membership in the Union of the Mediterranean was a result of the unified Arab position.

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The foreign ministers of the 27-nation European Union (EU) approved at their meetings in Marseille, France, Monday the full membership of the Arab League and chose the Spanish city of Barcelona as the permamnent headquarters for the Union.

In addition to the 27 members, 16 other countries overlooking the Mediterranean union are also members of the Union.

“The main reason to accept the Arab League as a full member came as a result of the strong and unified Arab position,” Moussa said at a news conference Tuesday.

The Arab League members, he said, insisted that without the full membership of the League at the Union, no Arab country would qualify to hold any meetings of the union in any Arab country.

“That insistance was unanimous among the Arab countries,” Moussa said.

The Marseille meetings also granted Israel the right to hold the three-year-term post of one of the secretary-generals of the Union, despite the Arab League’s objection.

Moussa made the remarks at a joint news conference with the president of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering after their meetings on the sidelines of the Arab Cultural Week, an event hosted by the the European Parliament under this year’s “Dialogue of Cultures” motto of the European Union.

“Both the Arab League and the European Union attach paramount importance not only to the cooperation between the two blocs, but it also extends to broadening cooperation between the peoples of the two organisations,” Moussa said.

The European Parliament president said the week-long Arab event was an important step towards enhancing dialogue between the two organisations.

The Arab Cultural Week, which was inaugurated Monday, included seminars, exhibitions, displays of Arab and Islamic artwork as well as folkloric nights.