Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League for Political Affairs, Ambassador Khaled al-Habas, said the first European Union (EU)-Arab League (AL) summit will focus on the issues of strengthening regional security and stability and enhancing cooperation and partnership.
The summit, scheduled on Feb. 24-25 in Egypt’s Sharm al-Sheikh city, will bring together for the first time heads of states and government from both sides.
EU President Donald Tusk will co-chair the meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, al-Habas said the first EU-AL summit will discuss all issues of common interest and the challenges faced by the two regions.
Al-Habas revealed that the Arab and European leaders will discuss ways to mobilize and strengthen joint efforts to achieve security and stability in the two regions to reach solutions and settlements to their existing crises.
The AL official pointed out that the issues of illegal immigration and terrorism are among the important issues that will be discussed during the summit.
“We will try to search for solutions to the issue of terrorism in the Middle East since it is one of the main reasons for illegal immigration to Europe,” he stressed.
The summit will also discuss the most important crises in the Arab region, particularly the Palestinian issue and the ongoing Israeli violations and attacks on the Palestinians, al-Habas said.
Al-Habas pointed out that the leaders of the Arab and European countries will also discuss the situations in Syria, Libya and Yemen, Iranian threats and other political issues of common interest.
“Besides political and security issues, we will also address the economic issues, especially the strengthening of the Arab-European partnership and cooperation in various economic fields, mainly mutual investments and trade exchange,” the official noted.
Al-Habas added that the summit will give a strong push to Arab-European cooperation as it will witness a high-level presence on both sides.
Ambassador of the EU to Egypt Ivan Surkos said on Thursday that 24 heads of state of the EU will come to Sharm el-Sheikh this week to attend the first EU-AL summit.
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all announced they will attend the summit.
Speaking about a mechanism to follow up the summit’s outcomes, al-Habas said that the decisions of the summit will be followed up through several mechanisms, including the Secretariat of the AL and the Secretariat of the EU as well as joint meetings at various levels.
“The Arab and European foreign ministers held five previous joint meetings to coordinate and promote joint cooperation… these meetings can follow the decisions of the summit,” he added.