27 March 2017 06:30 PM

Egypt’s Arab Policy

Monday، 19 October 2015 12:00 AM

Egypt has been and will always be a key player within the Arab region with an important political and cultural role to play.

Egypt views the Arab League (AL) as one of the fundamental instruments of Arab common action; an instrument which should be restructured, and whose ability to contain, prevent and peacefully settle conflicts should be enhanced.

Accordingly, in July 2003 Egypt launched an initiative to develop the AL and to activate Arab common action.

Egypt also supported the resolutions adopted by the Arab Summit held in Tunisia in 2004 on reforming the institutions of Arab action.

In March 2007, the Arab summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia endorsed an Egypt-submitted paper of action on a comprehensive concept of Arab national security. The paper included the following:

1. To have the Arab Peace and Security Council conduct studies on the threats both present and future facing the Arab world.
2. To have the AL General Secretariat conduct studies on the defense and security of Arab countries.
3. To carry out a comprehensive review of the nuclear situation in the region in view of the regional and international developments taking place and of the stances of the various world powers.

Egyptians consider themselves an intrinsic inseparable part of the Arab nation; they share the same history, culture, language and common interests; and they stand facing one destiny.

Egypt's Arab identity gained great momentum with the outbreak of the July 1952 Revolution. This translates in Article 1 of the 1956 Constitution of Egypt which describes the country as an independent sovereign democratic Arab republic, the people of which are part of the Arab nation.

In the 1958 Constitution of the United Arab Republic, Article 1 also describes the United Arab State as an independent, sovereign, democratic republic, the people of which are part of the Arab nation.

Article 1 of Egypt's 1971 Constitution stipulates that “the Egyptian people are part of the Arab nation and work for the realization of its comprehensive unity”.

Moreover, Article 1 of the 2012 Constitution stipulates as follows: “the Egyptian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations, proud of belonging to the Nile Basin and Africa and contribute positively to human civilization”.

Egypt has been an important player in most Arab issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq and Sudan. It has had a significant part to play in reforming the Arab League and in supporting Arab common action.

There are a number of elements, currently at play, which contribute to defining Egypt's role in the Arab region:

• To achieve a common Arab vision of the region's national objectives, with special emphasis on ways of protecting national security.
• To protect Arab will and create an atmosphere conducive to a free decision-making process.
• To enforce a commitment to covenants governing Arab common action, the Arab League Charter and the Joint Defence Treaty.
• To enforce a commitment by all Arab countries to the principles of mutual respect and the non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
• To reach a formula concerning relations between the region's Arab  and non-Arab countries; a formula based on rejecting attempts at regional expansion, hegemony, dominance and superiority.
• To promote solidarity and the peaceful settlement of conflicts between Arab countries.
• To protect resources and pursue development in all Arab countries.
• To consolidate relations in the fields of economy and trade with the ultimate goal of establishing an Arab common market.

It should be noted in this context that Dr. Nabil al-Arabi, Egypt's first foreign minister in the wake of the 2011 Revolution was chosen Secretary-General of the Arab League in June 2011.
 

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