A call for unity and combatting terrorism was the need of the hour, according to the Secretary-General of the Arab League.
Speaking the 16th edition of the Arab Media Forum, being held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Ahmed Aboul Gheit stated the region was facing its ‘darkest moments’.
He said: “The Arab League is a reflection of the Arab will and reality. And the reality is a stark one.
“The region is facing some of its darkest moments. I am 74 years old, and in my life, I haven’t seen a situation worse than what we are facing today.”
“At the root of our problems is terrorism,” he said. “We need to combat terrorism and that goes beyond military forces.
“We need to combat it with education. Combatting young people’s minds that are being sabotaged. Together, we can make it happen.”
Gheit revealed that the combined GDP of the Arab League alone contributes towards $2.3 trillion.
Critics, however, have not been kind, he continued, saying: “If we abandon the Arab League, then what next? This is our common ground, one that unifies 21 nations for a common cause. And we need to appreciate it and use it to our gain.
The devastation of Syria took centerstage, with Gheit referring to it as the historic heart of the Arab League.
“Today, 500,000 people have died. Another 4-5 million are refugees, while another 4-5m are displaced within Syria,” he said, adding: “There are three different governments laying claim on the country, which is literally at the threshold of exploding.”
Similarly, neighboring Iraq is also under threat, he added.
Gheit continued: “We have to save Arab states from fragmentation. That is our goal. We have ministerial councils must find a solution. We have failed to recognise our potential.”