March 26, 2014 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese government official on Wednesday described as “incorrect” reports that his country had applied for Arab League membership during a recent visit by its foreign minister to the latest summit.
“Our minister of foreign affairs was only responding to the request by the secretary-general of the Arab league so that he could go and provide briefing about what happened”, said Mawien Makol, the spokesperson of the foreign affairs ministry.
"He [the minister] was not going for submission of any request", he added.
The diplomat was responding to reports alleging that South Sudan and Chad submitted a formal request to the General Secretariat of the Arab League to become full members during the Arab Ministerial Council meeting, drawing mixed reactions from the general public, some whom questioned the benefits of joining the Arab body.
Arabic language is considered the main prerequisite for any country to join the league, whose member states include: Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia, Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, the Comoros, Sudan, Palestine, Algeria, Mauritania, Libya, Djibouti and Somalia.
However, although Sudan Tribune could not independently verify these claims, some diplomatic sources claim the Arab League’s Secretariat was already reviewing South Sudan’s bid and could make a decision in coming months.
If both countries indeed submitted their applications and it is approved, members states of the Arab League would increase to 24 from 22.