The two-day European Union (EU) Arab (EU-Arab) League Summit came to an end of Monday with speeches from the President of Egypt, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the President of European Council, Donald Tusk. The high profile event, which started on Sunday 24 February, was attended by numerous Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, and officials 47 different Arab and European countries.
— James Ward (@newswardie) February 25, 2019
The event in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt was meant to discuss trade relations, and investments, but also security, migration and the situation in Syria and Yemen.
— Unews Press Agency (@UnewsAgency) February 25, 2019
With the second edition of the event scheduled in Brussels in 2022, both the sides – European nations and the Arab League – have already hailed the summit as a big success. Serving as a starting point to a new era of relations between the two parties, the EU-Arab League Summit also focuses on ensuring regional peace and stability. Libya, Yemen, and Syria are among the top priorities of the two sides and it remains to be seen how the said words are turned into actions. Both the Arabs and the European leaders aim to sit together and seek common ground to the pressing issues like the ongoing crises in the Middle East.
#Terrorism, #migration central at first ever EU-Arab League summit at #SharmElSheikh #Egypte . Heads of 20 EU countries including British PM & German Chancellor are parr of the two day summit.
Syria, Palestine, Libya and Yemen situation will also be discussed. pic.twitter.com/clBrLAIOvz
— Syed Kashif Ali (@kashifaliraza) February 24, 2019
The Monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud also graced the occasion with his presence. He made his entry with the Egyptian President, who co-chaired the session along with Donald Tusk. In his opening remarks on Sunday night, King Salman highlighted the need for a conflict-free life for the people of the world, especially the Middle East. Talking about Palestine, the Monarch highlighted the Kingdom’s firmness in playing its role in ensuring the rights of the oppressed Palestinians. Turning his focus towards Yemeni war, King Salman highlighted the hideous role of Iran in destabilizing the country, saying that the Yemeni war must be solved through political means and not by war. He reiterated the fact that Yemen crisis must be put to an end in line with the United Nations Security Council resolution and the Gulf Initiative. Years of terror financing and harboring militants in a bid to interfere in other countries internal affairs needs to be stopped, believed the King while addressing the audience. The world needs to stand up against the Iranian regime to stabilize Yemen and other conflicting regions.
The Sunday night’s event ended with a family photo followed by a dinner hosted at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Amidst the Brexit issue, British Prime Minister, Theresa May, held several meetings with European leaders on the sidelines of the two-day summit. Despite the British PM’s bilateral meetings, the experts believed that the event was not primarily focused on Brexit and that it had a far greater vision.
Theresa May heads to a EU-Arab League leaders’ summit in Egypt on Sunday, as debate continues over a Brexit deal that can win support in a Parliament vote on Wednesday https://t.co/J7iLdZ3Chu pic.twitter.com/O1X8xdUPZx
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) February 24, 2019
Mrs May pledged £200 million in humanitarian aid to solve the Yemen crisis. The Prime Minister also met with his Royal Highness, King Salman on the sidelines of the event. She shared King Salman’s views on putting an end to the brutal civil war, asking him to use his influence to urge the involved parties to put the conflict to rest, once and for all.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) February 25, 2019
Donald Tusk, while addressing the Summit, said that despite the differences, the EU and the Arab League shared common interests and challenges. Talking about the foreign interest in the conflicting regions, Mr. Tusk reiterated that it was they who needed to solve these problems, not leaving it to the world powers far from the region.
There are differences between us. But we face common challenges and have shared interests. We need to cooperate and not leave it to global powers far from our region. #EULASsummit
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) February 24, 2019
No points for guessing that he was talking about China and Russia. All the world superpowers, including the United States, have had their fair share in the Middle East, in one way or the other. While Donald Trump may be an advocate of getting the US troops out of the war-torn countries, especially Afghanistan, Washington’s foreign policy still has the Middle East among top priorities.
Our first #EULASsummit is a good beginning. As close neighbours, confronted by many of the same challenges and a more dangerous, unstable geo-political context, we have no alternative but to work together. https://t.co/9z32rtgK3V
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) February 25, 2019
Saudi Trade and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qasabi hailed the event as a success, saying that events like these are aimed at solving the common challenges faced by the two parties. He further said that the forum provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two continents and the sides, terming the event as a positive step.
An interesting observation, however, was that the Saudi Monarch himself attended the event and not the Crown Prince. One reason may be his very busy schedule owing to the recent visits to Pakistan followed by India. While it cannot be used as an excuse, the Saudi Monarch came out of his semi-retirement to attend the grand event, in a bid to further strengthen the Kingdom, and the Arab League’s ties with the European Council member nations.
In his closing speech, the Egyptian President highlighted the need for the two parties to sit together and build a strong strategy for the region. He further went on to say that the Arab and European countries have more in common than the differences and that the two sides must move forward from here onwards. He appreciated the discussions that took place over the course of two days, saying that the real success was the long-term relations that are going to emerge out of this forum. He thanked all the participants for gracing the event with their presence.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II also termed the event a success, congratulating Sisi on hosting a phenomenal session of leaders from two parties.
His Majesty King Abdullah II, in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, discusses ties and regional developments, congratulating President Sisi on the success of the first EU-Arab League of States Summit hosted by #Egypt #Jordan
— RHC (@RHCJO) February 25, 2019
In this video, you will see the amazing reaction to King Salman’s entrance in the Egyptian parliament. Thanks to MSM’s relentless propaganda against Saudi Arabia, world leaders now recognize the nobility of the King and the crown prince as well as the true strength of Saudi Arabia.
What are your thoughts on the EU-Arab League Summit? Share your views in the comments section.