Leaders of UN and Arab League discuss Palestinian cause in New York

CAIRO: The Palestinian cause was among the topics discussed when Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the League of Arab States, and Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, met on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

Their representatives said the two officials talked about a number of matters related to international crises, along with the latest developments in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for Aboul Gheit said the Arab League chief expressed to Guterres his appreciation of the important role the UN leader has played during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Guterres reportedly spoke about the current situation in the Middle East and the role of the UN in Somalia, Yemen and Syria.

Aboul Gheit also highlighted the great frustration Palestinians feel as a result of the number of political obstructions to their cause. Both men agreed that the Palestinian issue remains a priority in efforts to achieve stability and prosperity in the region.

They expressed their commitment to working together as part of a coordinated approach to seek political solutions to the crises facing some countries in the region.

In a message posted on Twitter, Aboul Gheit wrote: “We agreed on the danger of ignoring the serious efforts to settle the Palestinian issue and the importance of continuing our joint work for this purpose.

“The international situation is very difficult and thorny, yet Guterres is working tirelessly on various political, environmental, developmental, and other fronts.”

Aboul Gheit also met Ian Borg, Malta’s minister of foreign and European affairs and trade on Wednesday, and congratulated him on his country earning a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2023-2024. He said the Arab League is counting on Malta’s support for Arab issues on the council’s agenda during that time, especially those related to the Palestinian cause.

Last week, Aboul Gheit called on Spain to support Palestine’s bid for full membership of the UN, amid preparations for a new diplomatic drive for recognition. Palestine is currently afforded observer status by the UN. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is due to speak at the General Assembly on Sept. 23 and highlight the campaign for full membership.

A spokesperson said Abou Gheit leader had met Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares in Madrid to discuss issues of common interest and ways to enhance bilateral relations.

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