British Foreign Secretary William Hague, right, talks with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov, during the EU foreign ministers meeting at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Nov.Tags: Foreign Ministers, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Syrian opposition, the European Council building, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov
President Mohamed Morsy met Wednesday with Catherine Ashton, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, at the presidential palace in Heliopolis, where they discussed Palestinian issues and ways of resolving the Syrian conflict without foreign intervention.
The meeting also tackled ways to increase cooperation among Egypt and the European Union in fields such as tourism and investment, as well as regional and international issues of joint interest.
Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and the presidential deputy for foreign relations and international cooperation also attended the meeting.
Ashton took part on Tuesday in the second meeting for Arab and European foreign ministers in Cairo, where she assured attendees that the EU is keen on promoting democracy in “Arab Spring” countries. She also highlighted the importance of reaching a political solution in Syria as well as supporting peace efforts in the Middle East.
Edited translation from MENATags: MENA Morsy, Presidential Palace, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr
Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby said Wednesday that the league, along with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Union and the African Union are close to formulating an international agreement penalizing blasphemy and insults to religious figures.
States should not be blamed for insults to Islam made by some individuals, Araby told reporters at the league's headquarters in Cairo. He renewed his criticism of the US-produced film that denigrates Islam's Prophet Mohamed and has sparked protests around the world, describing it as "valueless and trivial."
Araby also denied any disagreements between Arab states over efforts to solve the Syrian crisis. Saudi Arabia did not attend a meeting held earlier this week on the Syrian issue with the the foreign ministers of Egypt, Turkey and Iran.
Egypt's presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali and an official from the Arab League said the Saudi foreign minister did not attend the Monday meeting in Cairo due to health problems. But Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said his counterpart's absence was due to a busy agenda.
Araby recently attended a dinner at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, along with UN special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Turkey and Iran. He said he had also met with Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the Arab League over several issues, adding that Salehi expressed his willingness to assist Brahimi and would soon visit Ankara.
Asked about reports claiming that some Arab countries have been arming Syrian opposition rebels, Araby said the league had nothing to do with the arming issue and that any Arab nation doing so is acting outside the league's framework.
Edited translation from MENATags: Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Foreign Ministers, foreign minister, the African Union, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, the Organization of the Islamic Conference
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has said that Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are considering visa-free travel for their citizens, as a step towards Arab .
The announcement came after a meeting between President Mohamed Morsy and the foreign ministers of Libya and Tunisia Sunday.
“In the end, we are one people not three,” Amr said. He said the possibility of lifting visa restrictions is contingent on the security situation in the three countries.
For his part, Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdul Salam said the three countries are geographically, historically and linguistically connected.
“This is an important move in light of the desire of many Arab countries for building foundations for new political systems,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-YoumTags: Arab countries, President Mohamed Morsy, Foreign Ministers, Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdul Salam
President Mohamed Morsy said that Egypt will not waver in supporting Arab peoples against their oppressors, and will not accept the continuing bloodbath in Syria.
Morsy’s comments were included in a speech delivered by Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr on behalf of the president at the opening of the Syrian opposition conference organized by the Arab League.
The conference began on Monday in Cairo. Several Arab foreign ministers and Syrian opposition leaders are participating.
In the speech, Morsy praises the sacrifices of the Syrian people who seek freedom. He assured that Egypt does not accept the oppression of civilians and the continuation of the Syrian people’s suffering.
Morsy stated that Egypt supports Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria and completely rejects foreign military interference which could lead to the division of the Syrian state. Morsy promised that he would not fail to remind the United Nations, specifically the UN Security Council, of their responsibility to resolve the crisis in Syria.
He concluded by saying that the Syrian people are looking forward to the Arab League conference, and expressed his confidence that the Syrian people will have the bright future they deserve and that the country will remain united.Tags: Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Syrian opposition, Foreign Ministers, President Mohamed Morsy, the Arab League
The European Union imposed fresh sanctions on President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime Monday, targeting government ministries, companies and one individual, while clarifying an existing EU arms embargo.
The measures were approved by foreign ministers of the 27-nation-bloc meeting in Luxembourg, an EU statement said.
The asset freeze and travel ban were the 16th round of restrictive EU measu