Egyptian Foreign Minister says common Arab position regarding Iran in offing

ABU DHABI, 25th January, 2016 (WAM) — The Arab countries are formulating a unified approach to respond to Iran’s pressures and interventions in the Arab region, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Arab Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi.

He noted that the common position being arrived at was aimed at achieving the public interest and will see the light during the next two weeks.

Shoukry said tension between Egypt and Iran dates back to about a quarter of century because of Iran’s policy towards the region, its interference in internal affairs and sectarian manipulation. “Tehran does not differentiate between the sectarianism and the national state.”

Regarding the Syrian file, he confirmed that the Egyptian government supports the choice and the will of the Syrian people, noting that the situation has become very dangerous as the state is being eroded.

The Egyptian minister added that Egypt has worked to gather the Syrian opposition factions in Cairo in two meetings to adopt the political process, with a view to establish a democratic state, form a transitional government to set a roadmap and bail the state out of the violence.

As regards to Libya, he said Egypt’s decision to back the UN resolution regarding Libya was aimed to achieve national unity by making an attempt to bring a convergence between the views of certain forces that still have reservations about the deal. He denied that Egypt made any military intervention in Libya.

Shoukry said Libya suffers from terrorism which affects the neighbouring countries. Therefore, the Egyptian government supports a reconciliatory government in Libya and a strong national army. He pointed out that Egypt is ready to provide support to train the Libyan national armed forces.

He paid tribute to the Arab foreign ministers’ retreat meeting held in Abu Dhabi today, which took an informal character and saw candid conversations among ministers in a positive atmosphere. Shoukri said they discussed the risks related to terrorism and the interventions of Iran and Turkey in the region, as well as the Palestinian issue.