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Egypt’s foreign minister elected as Arab League SG


May 15, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Egypt’s current foreign minister Nabil Elaraby has been elected as secretary-general of the Arab League after his Qatari competitor Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah withdrew from the race.

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Nabil Elaraby of Egypt (right) was chosen as head of the Arab League yesterday after he replaced a divisive candidate. (Amr Nabil/ Associated Press)

Qatar’s withdrawal of al-Attiyah came in response to Egypt’s last-minute decision to switch from its original candidate, diplomat Mustafa al-Fikki, a member of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s party.

Hamad bin Jassim, Qatar’s foreign minister, said Egypt’s choice of Elaraby had “encouraged” his country to withdraw its nominee.

“We had agreement in appreciation of Egypt and the revolution of Jan. 25, [so] Qatar withdrew its candidate,” he told the Arab League meeting. “This is the right choice, which encouraged us to support it.’

Elaraby will replace his native Amr Moussa, who held the post for a decade.

Sudan, which backed the Qatari candidate, is yet to officially react to Elaraby’s election. The Sudanese government strongly objected to Egypt’s original choice of Mustafa al-Fikki, citing the candidate’s “hostile” attitude towards Sudan.

Mustafa El-Fiqi cancelled a trip to Sudan earlier this month after he learned of the Sudanese government’s to support the Qatari candidate.

El-Fiqi angered Khartoum when he said in December last year that the current regime of President Al-Bashir is “the worst” in Sudan’s history.

The former adviser to ousted President Mubarak said that the Sudanese government stands fully responsible for the secession of South Sudan, which voted to become an independent state in July this year.


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  • 16 May 2011 10:18, by Adam

    Wow! Sudan diplomacy is finally successful this time. Luck! just luck. Qatar stand was outstanding and saved Arab face.

    This is a good lesson for our to-be-appointed diplomats.

    The elected man is an acceptable figure. I hope he will be helping South Sudan-Middle East relations.

    Adam Milawaki – Mayendit
    Southern Sudan

    repondre message

    • 16 May 2011 14:24, by Makuei

      Congratulation to Nabil and the Egyptian government on their decision to run and victory as well!!

      Now Khartoum can go to Hell!!!

      repondre message

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