Saudi diplomat: Most Arab states reject Iran’s inclusion in neighborhood forum

Saudi Arabia’s permanent Arab League representative Ahmed Kattan said this week that the extraordinary Arab summit held in Sirte, Libya on 9 October had failed to reach consensus on a proposed "League of Arab Neighbors" initiative.

“Certain Arab countries stated the need to achieve Arab unity before thinking of any kind of formal association,” Kattan said. “Others expressed concern that the issue might cause further division among member states.”

He also noted that Saudi Arabia had rejected a summit resolution to develop a mechanism for joint Arab action.

Kattan went on to say that some Arab states were of the opinion that the proposed neighborhood initiative might be achieved through conventional Arab League channels without having to resort to establishing a new organization.

In March, Arab League chief Amr Moussa recommended the creation of Arab neighbors league to enhance inter-Arab regional cooperation on political, economic and security issues. He proposed that Turkey, along with Ethiopia and Chad, would be the first countries to join the new body, while leaving the door open to Iran–but only in the case that all Arab League member states accepted the latter's membership.

Key Sunni-Arab states–such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan–have voiced concerns about what they perceive as growing Iranian influence in the reigon.

The league has called on member states' permanent representatives to convene again soon to discuss the issue.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button