Egypt and the Arab League

First: Egypt and the Arab League:

  • Egypt supported the efforts of the Arab League as a key tool of joint Arab action, by providing the necessary capabilities to reform its structures and assist it to play its role properly, regarding upgrading its existing structures and adding new structures, in order to promote joint Arab march and to strengthen the capacity of the Arab League to contain such disputes before its escalation, by mechanisms to avoid disputes or to managing and settling them peacefully.
  • Egypt permanently confirms the importance of moving forward in the Arab economic integration projects and implementing measures and policies that lead to liberate trade, capital, individuals and technology among the Arab countries. Egypt also affirms the productive portal in developing Arab economies, building joint ventures and improving chances of joint investment opportunities, which would lead finally to the establishment of the aspired Arab joint market, as well as the need to reach a unified concept of the collective Arab security, the reality of directed threats and the necessary procedures to protect it, in addition to discuss ways of enforcing the agreements and the frameworks of joint Arab cooperation in all fields.
  • In this context, Egypt attaches great importance to collective Arab cooperation in the fields of science, technology, education and culture, and also to developing bilateral relations among Arab countries in these areas with accepting gradual and selective approach in implementing development and reform operations, taking into account the circumstances of each country.

Second: The fundamentals of the Egyptian role in the Arab area:​​

  • To support and protect Arab national security in a comprehensive way and its political, economic and military dimensions, which based on Egypt's acknowledgment that the national security of each Arab country is separate and would be achieved only in the framework of the Arab national security.
  • To strengthen solidarity among Arab countries, settle disputes among them peacefully and enforce mechanisms to avoid disputes or manage and settle them peacefully.
  • To commit all Arab states to the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.
  • To support the Arab League's efforts as a key tool of joint Arab action, by providing the necessary capabilities to reform its structures and enable it play its role properly.
  • To establish the concept of the modern nation-state and protect the Arab social fabric with all its components.
  • Pursuing to strengthen relations between the Arab countries and each other, especially in trade and economic fields, in order to establish the Arab common market as a strategic objective for each Arab nation.
  • Arab integration in the war against terrorism and activating the role of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif to fight extremism and intellectual extremism.

Third: Egypt's policy toward the Arab Issues:​​​

  • Egypt plays a significant and active role in the region, which is witnessing a lot of unprecedented challenges starting from terrorism, fierce foreign interventions and the challenges that dominate the identity of the nation and the stability of its communities in a manner targeting ties between countries and peoples and dismantling the social fabric of communities, in addition to attracting some and excluding others, on the basis of religion, faith, sect or race.

1- Egypt and the Palestinian issue:

The Palestinian cause comes on top priorities of Egypt's foreign policy, which aims to help the Palestinian people obtain all its legitimate rights, in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab peace initiative, topped by establishing their independent state on the borders of June 4th, 1967 with its capital as East Jerusalem, through emphasizing the need for serious and fruitful negotiations on the basis of international resolutions,  the Arab peace initiative, stopping the Israeli settlement activities and  the continuous attacks on all religious sanctities. Egypt is aware of resolving the Palestinian cause as one of the main keys to stability in the region, which contributes in eliminating one of the most important pretext that the extremist groups depends upon to justify its violence acts and providing  a better regional reality for generations in the future.

2- Egypt and the Libyan issue​​​:

The Libyan issue is one of the most prominent issues that the Egyptian foreign policy gives a great attention due to the geographical proximity and its impacts on the Egyptian national security. Egypt communicates with the Libyan neighboring countries, especially Algeria and Tunisia to maintain Libyan territorial integrity, preserve the resources and restore security and stability in Libya, as well as facing the forces of violence, extremism and terrorism. Egypt also works to prevent the country from sliding into chaos and destruction, through the attempt of approaching viewpoints of different parties together without disturbing the principle of full respect of the Libyan people's will and their right to determine their own future, in addition to emphasize the importance of strengthening the process of democratic transformation,  supporting Libyan legitimate associations and institutions, topped by the Libyan parliament and the national army, with an emphasis on the need to start the implementation of development plans to achieve the goals and aspirations of the brotherly Libyan people.​

3- Egypt and the Yemeni issue:​​

Egypt stresses the need to maintain Yemen's unity and territorial integrity, further to the national interests of the brotherly Yemeni people by empowering the state to control the entire Yemeni territories and restoring security and stability through its participation in the alliance to support legitimacy in Yemen.

4- Egypt and the Syrian issue:

Egypt is working hard to support all means to build a civil democratic state that embraces all Syrians, reach a political solution to maintain the unity of the Syrian territories and support the UN efforts aiming to resolve the Syrian crisis, as well as coordinating with international and regional powers. In the same context, Egypt stresses the importance of confronting the terrorist organizations there and preventing the collapse of the Syrian state institutions. Egypt also seeks to adopt an Arabic perception leading to serious procedures to save Syria and the region's security and to begin the reconstruction efforts immediately after reaching a political settlement to allow the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

5- Egypt and the Iraqi issue:​​​​

Egypt seeks to support the positive steps that the government has started to adopted to restore security and stability and also exerts endeavors aiming to empowering the Iraqi Government to fulfill the requirements of understating and reconciliation among the various components of Iraqi people to revive the concept of the national state away from any ethnic or sectarian discrimination and provide the necessary support to defeat terrorist organizations.

6- Egypt and Lebanon's stability​​​

Egypt supports the dialogue among the various Lebanese political forces to restore stability in this brotherly country,  stop the polarization  and alleviate division, in addition to maintain the capabilities of the Lebanese people and institutions of the state, further to achieve regional stability.

7- Egypt and supporting Somalia​​​

Egypt supports the Somali government in its fight against terrorism, as well as the process of development and stability in Somalia, where Egypt supports the Somali government to implement the "Vision 2016", in order to complete the institutional and constitutional building in Somalia and achieve the aspirations of its brotherly people.

​Fourth: GAFTA Convention:​​

  • Economic and Social Council of the Arab League adopted on 19/02/1997 an executive program and timetable for the establishment of Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade among Arab States, in line with the provisions of the World Trade Organization and its general rules organizing the world trade; the Convention entered into force on 1/1/1998.
  • All Arab goods exchanged among the states parties have been exempted from customs duties and other fees of similar effect and taxes in accordance with the principle of gradual liberalization in equal proportions (10%) annually, with effect from 1/1/1998, where the discount rate has been raised to 20% in 2004 and 2005, bringing the total reduction to 80% in the beginning of 2004, while reached 100% reduction with the beginning of 2005.
  • GAFTA applies the current rules of origin which stipulates that the domestic value-added ratio is not less than 40%. The Member States have agreed to apply the detailed rules of origin on certain goods agreed upon amongst the Member States.
  • Efforts are being exerted by Arab countries to liberalize trade in services, and for this purpose several meetings were held between member states. Observations of Arab States on this project are currently being completed, and commenting on the commitments made by the Arab states members of the WTO, and compatible with their obligations tables in the framework of the WTO is minimal. As for the non-members of the organization, it was agreed that the obligation tables are initial offers in this respect.
  • Goods and products that are produced inside the free zones are not subject to the provisions of the Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade and its executive program for the establishment of a free trade zone, which means that it is not subject to any reductions or tariff exemptions. The Chambers of Commerce and Arab organizations, both agricultural and industrial, were assigned to prepare a detailed study on how to treat the free zone products, within the framework of the executive program.

Fifth: Egypt's relations with other countries within the Arab League framework:​​

  • Egypt has ties of cooperation with many countries within the framework of the Arab League, in light of Egypt's membership in the League, which has some agreements with those countries that establish a number of fora for cooperation, described as follows:

1. Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum:​​​​​

  • The first steps of cooperation and consultation between the Arab League and Russia in various fields are represented in signing a Memorandum of Understanding on September 23rd, 2003.
  • Memorandum of Cooperation between the Arab League and Russia has been signed to establish a Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Cairo on December 21st, 2009 at the headquarters of the Secretariat, which include fields and forms of political, economic, trade, investment, scientific and cultural cooperation.
  • The work of the first session of the Russian-Arab cooperation forum in was held in Moscow on February 20th, 2013 in the presence of the foreign ministers of the Forum (the Troika of the Arab League, the presidency of the Arab summit, Arab League Secretary General, Foreign Minister of Russia). The meeting adopted an action plan to implement the principles and objectives of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum 2013 to 2015.
  • The Sudanese capital Khartoum hosted the 2nd session of the Forum for the Arab-Russian cooperation during the period 2 to 3 December 2014, the security issues that concern many Arab countries prevailed the minutes of the 2nd session of the Forum, while the session also tackled the ways to deepen Russian-Arab partnership in the economic and cultural fields.
  • ​The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in coordination with the Russian concerned authorities are currently preparing for the 3rd session of the forum, which is expected to be held in Russia during the January 2016.

1. China-Arab Cooperation Forum:​​​

  • Arab and Chinese sides signed a declaration of China-Arab Cooperation Forum in the General Secretariat of the Arab League's headquarters in 2004.
  • Since the establishment of the Forum, the two sides were able to establish more than a dozen mechanisms for cooperation in various political, economic, cultural, media and developmental fields. In this context, many of the meetings and events were held at the ministerial, senior officials, experts and specialists in various sectors levels, where memoranda were signed to activate cooperation in a number of areas stipulated in the executive programs of the forum.
  • The forum mechanism provides to hold a meeting at the level of foreign ministers of the two sides once every two years alternately, as well as a meeting at senior officials' level a year alternately.
  • The 2nd session of the senior officials' meeting of the forum has been held on June 9th to 10th, 2015 at the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, while the Chinese capital city of Beijing has hosted on June 5th, 2014 the 6th session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Forum countries. Qatar is expected to host the 7th session of the Ministerial meeting of the Forum countries in May 2016.

1. Arab- Indian Cooperation Forum:​

  • A memorandum of cooperation for the establishment of the Indian-Arab cooperation forum has been signed on 2/12/2008 in New Delhi, the document has been renewed and developed, and the revised document has been signed in December 2013.
  • The visit of the Secretary General of the Arab League to New Delhi on 17/12/2013 witnessed the signing of a modified memorandum of cooperation of the Forum on Arab-Indian cooperation and the executive program of the forum between 2014-2016, and under the modified memorandum of cooperation, the forum mechanism has been changed to become at the level of Arab and Indian foreign ministers. The Ministerial meeting is held once every two years, and senior officials meeting will hold a meeting once a year, alternately between India and one of the Arab countries.
  • According to the memorandum of cooperation to create Arab- Indian Cooperation Forum, the two sides will strengthen cooperation in the fields of political consultations, economy, trade and investment (organizing an annual conference of Arab Indian partnership), energy (the establishment of a dialogue mechanism for cooperation in the energy field, to hold meetings annually at the senior officials level at the relevant ministries from both sides and the General Secretariat), human resource development, culture and education (establishment of an annual conference of the heads of Arab and Indian universities in coordination with the General Secretariat and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization ALECSO), as well as the media.