Arab League gives Egyptian Aboul Gheit second five-year term

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, 78, served as Egypt's foreign minister during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak's rule [File: Rafael Marchante/Reuters]

The 22-member league based in Cairo has been led predominantly by Egyptian diplomats since its foundation in 1945. Arab foreign ministers on Wednesday reappointed a veteran Egyptian diplomat as the secretary-general of the Cairo-based Arab League. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, a former ambassador to the United Nations and Egypt’s last foreign minister under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, won the backing of the Arab foreign ministers meeting in the Egyptian capital.

During the talks, Aboul Gheit expressed his optimism in making progress to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his new five-year term.

“A new opportunity looms today with the new American administration taking over the levers of power to correct this track and to launch a real peace process, based on international law, a framework and a lasting solution – and not just negotiating for the purpose of negotiation,” Aboul Gheit said.

In January, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that Cairo would nominate Aboul Gheit for a second term as the chief of the 22-member bloc.