Archive for the ‘U.S. Embassy’ category

A whole new ballgame

July 7, 2017

A whole new ballgame, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, July 7, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman delivered a speech this week that made the ‎unbearably hot and humid weather feel like a breath of fresh air. At the annual Fourth of July ‎celebration, held Monday evening at his official residence in Herzliya, Friedman not only ‎reiterated his personal faith in Judaism and the Jewish people, but stressed America’s ‎‎”unbreakable bond” with the Jewish state.‎

The bond Friedman was referring to had become so fragile during former U.S. President Barack ‎Obama’s two terms in office that it became the punchline of a joke made in 2014 by comedian ‎Jay Leno. Obama, Leno quipped, knows just how unbreakable the U.S.-Israel bond is, “since ‎he’s been trying to break it for years.”‎

It was not only Friedman’s address that was crafted to convey the loud and clear message that ‎the new administration in Washington is going to behave differently — that it is and will continue ‎to be unequivocally and unflinchingly on Israel’s side. The fact that he was the first U.S. ‎ambassador to invite settler leaders to the event, and proudly pose for photographs with them, ‎already spoke volumes.‎

Friedman began by recounting that the first time he hosted a party in Israel was at the Western ‎Wall in Jerusalem, when he was 13. “As the son of a rabbi of modest means, I can assure you that ‎my bar mitzvah party bore absolutely no resemblance to the party that we are attending here ‎tonight,” he said. “But the spirit … is exactly the same. It is the spirit of patriotic Americans ‎committed to increasing the ties and enhancing the relationship between the United States and ‎the State of Israel. That’s what my family stood for 45 years ago, and that’s still who we are ‎today.” ‎

That right off the bat he boasted of his Jewish connection to the Western Wall in the context of ‎U.S.-Israel relations was highly significant. It signaled to those supporters of President Donald ‎Trump who became disillusioned by what appeared to be a backtracking of his vow to move the ‎U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that this is not a case of yet another administration ‎reneging on its promises in an attempt to appease the Palestinians and impose a peace deal on ‎Israel. It also indicated to Israel’s enemies that America recognizes Israeli sovereignty over its ‎capital city. ‎

Friedman went on to say, “It was just two months ago that I had the honor … to be the master of ‎ceremonies at the very first party ever hosted by the White House to commemorate Israel’s ‎Independence Day, [where] I had the privilege to proclaim, ‘yom haatzmaut sameach l’medinat ‎yisrael’ — ‘Happy Independence Day to the State of Israel.’ Today, it is my great pleasure to return ‎the favor from 6,000 miles away. And so let me proclaim, ‘yom haatzmaut sameach l’artzot ‎habrit,’ ‘Happy Independence Day to the United States.'” ‎

And then he quoted, in Hebrew, a line from Psalm 118 — “This is a day that the Lord has made; ‎let us [be glad and] rejoice in it” — to make a point about Israel’s being “the source of many of the ‎Judeo-Christian values that spawned the American enterprise.” He invoked the famous Puritan Pilgrim John Winthrop, who in 1630 “implored his followers to be faithful to the teachings of ‎the Jewish prophet, Micah, to ‘do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God,'” and told ‎new immigrants to America that if they did so, they would “find that the God of Israel is among ‎us.” ‎

He said that when Winthrop “referred to New England as a ‘city upon a hill with the eyes of all ‎people upon us,” he was also referring to Jerusalem. Indeed, Friedman added, “So much of who ‎we are derives from the teachings of ancient Israel. And, perhaps for that reason, it is no surprise ‎that the United States and Israel have the most special of special relationships.”‎

Here, again, Friedman purposely spoke of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the success and mutual ‎admiration that America and the Jewish state enjoy emanate from “ancient Israel.”‎

‎”We have, of course, common enemies that unite us,” he said — as well as military, trade, culture ‎and cybersecurity cooperation. “But our collective core, what fundamentally unites us, is that we ‎are the two shining cities on a hill, drawn together by a shared history, shared values and … a ‎shared destiny of continued greatness.”‎

This declaration was nothing short of momentous, particularly as it came on the heels of senior ‎Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s June 21 meeting in Ramallah with PA President ‎Mahmoud Abbas, whose henchmen described the encounter as “tense.” Apparently, being told ‎by a prominent member of the White House staff that the paying of terrorists’ salaries has got to ‎stop is not what Abbas had expected to hear — despite being yelled at by Trump himself in May ‎for having lied about the rampant incitement in the PA against Jews and Israelis.‎

Friedman’s next allusion to Jerusalem involved noting that he is the “first [U.S.] ambassador to ‎accompany [Trump] in visiting the kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall.” From here, he segued ‎into his conclusion by talking about how, earlier in the day, he and Israeli Prime Minister ‎Benjamin Netanyahu had toured the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of ‎Haifa. ‎

Peace through strength, he announced (quoting King David’s words in Psalm 29, which he said ‎his father used to recite every Shabbat morning) is “a foundational cornerstone of the Trump ‎administration” and a “guiding principle of the State of Israel.” ‎

Finally, Friedman said that American men and women in uniform, like their Israeli counterparts ‎in the IDF, “hope never to fire a shot,” preferring to keep the world safe through a demonstration ‎of strength and courage. However — he implied — they willingly sacrifice their lives in this ‎mission if left no other choice.‎

While the new U.S. ambassador to Israel wound down his remarks by wishing the United State a ‎happy 241st birthday, the audience revved up its cheering for the start of what Americans call “a ‎whole new ballgame.”‎

Best Not to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Until US law is Changed

June 4, 2017

Best Not to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Until US law is Changed, The Jewish PressDavid Bedein, June 4, 2017

(Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, when U.S. law does not even recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, would be a symbolic act, but not a good one. Is anyone trying asking the Congress to change the law? If not, why not?– DM)

US Embassy in Israel, currently located in Tel Aviv

Meanwhile, the delay in the application of the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem can now energize the advocates of the US initiative to recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel and to campaign for the US Congress and White House to act upon legislative changes that should take place before the US embassy is moved.

If the US embassy had moved to Jerusalem under the current constraints of US law, that would have established the “de jure” precedent that the US embassy would move without recognition of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

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Covering events in the US capitol when Congress passed the “US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act” in October 1995, there were great expectations that the US would then renounce its position adopted in 1948 that Jerusalem would not be recognized as a part of Israel.

There was also speculation that the US would abandon its position from 1948 stating that all of Jerusalem must be a corpus separatum – an international zone.

However, the final wording of the US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act removed any explicit references to Jerusalem as part of Israel and made no promise that Jerusalem would remain the exclusive capital of Israel.

The late Faisal Husseini, head of the PLO Jerusalem committee, was present in Washington at the time, as was the architect of the Oslo process, Yossi Beilin, who was then the deputy foreign minister of Israel.  Both Husseini and Beilin endorsed the new wording of the US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act in 1995, as it was passed into law.

In other words, the US embassy relocation act did not violate two cardinal rules of US policy since 1948; Jerusalem was not to be recognized as a part of Israel, and Jerusalem could still become an international zone.

The US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act preceded the War of Independence, declaring that Jerusalem must be defined as an international zone under US trusteeship, and remain extraterritorial to Israel.  The US State Department went so far as to appoint its own governor for Jerusalem.  The assassination of the UN envoy to Jerusalem in September 1948 suspended that process, but did not cancel US policy.

A case in point:  The family of Ben Blutstein, a US citizen who was murdered by a terrorist bomb in July 2002 while eating lunch in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria at the Hebrew University, could not get the US State Department to allow his US death certificate to read “Jerusalem, Israel.” The same US policy applies to birth certificates.  An American whose child is born in Jerusalem receives a birth certificate which defines the place of birth as Jerusalem, with no nation stated.

Meanwhile, the delay in the application of the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem can now energize the advocates of the US initiative to recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel and to campaign for the US Congress and White House to act upon legislative changes that should take place before the US embassy is moved.

If the US embassy had moved to Jerusalem under the current constraints of US law, that would have established the “de jure” precedent that the US embassy would move without recognition of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

If the US still does not recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel, the next time Israel objects to an Arab war education curriculum in Jerusalem, and the next time Israel objects to a given policy at the Western Wall, the US can simply repeat the mantra “Well, Jerusalem does not belong to you.”

Wise advice to those who have been so passionate in the fight to move the embassy to Jerusalem – Best to first ask Congress to enact a US law that would recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace

May 16, 2017

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace, Israel National News, Minister Ofir Akunis, May 16, 2017

(Please see also, White House Clarifies Western Wall Position with JewishPress.com and associated comments. — DM)

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

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Please allow me to share a small part of my day with you, something that actually took place recently.

As I was going through my daily tasks in my Jerusalem office, I noticed something of concern and I will even say, disturbing. As I was browsing through some international news sources, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of coverage or attempts to link and explain the connection and history of the Jewish people and Jerusalem. It even went to the extreme of completely denying this connection, such as the UNESCO vote, just to name one example.

My friends, I turn to you from Jerusalem with great conviction and say JERUSALEM WAS, JERUSALEM IS, AND WILL FOREVER BE, THE UNDIVIDED CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, just as it was for the past 3000 years, and just as it is the capital of Israel today. Anything else would be equivalent to erasing our identity, erasing who and what we are as the Jewish people.

My friends, Israel is a country of great beauty, amazing people, a place of bright minds and a positive contribution to the world, not to mention a great breeding ground for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.

Sadly, the situation is quite different in the rest of the Middle East today. I often ask myself, can this be real? Is this the world we live in today? Can this really be happening in our backyard?

As Shimon Peres predicted it the 1990s, it is a whole “new Middle East.”

He was right, but unfortunately in a negative sense of the word “new,” as we can now see that it is a much, much worse Middle East.

What we originally thought was an Arab Spring, has now become a dark and stormy winter.

My friends, the time has come to stand united against evil around the world and in particular the Middle East. Whether it is the Islamic republic of Iran, the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic “state within a state” of Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Islamic Hamas in Gaza, we must stand united.

Unfortunately, and I say this with great disappointment and sadness, Israel’s repeated attempts to convey such dangers and concerns with previous administrations were not sufficiently heard.

Let me say this once again in a clear manner: the forces of evil in the Middle East are not only a threat to Israel, but a threat to all people who uphold the value of life and democracy.

Israel is proud to stand with the United States of America and all life and freedom loving people.

In the spirit of democracy, Israel looks forward to be welcoming President Trump and his delegation to Israel this month.

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

My friends, I would like to bring to your attention a growing problem which Israel is facing, the lies and attempts to re-write history.

Most, if not all of these lies come from terror-supporting states, terror backed organizations, BDS organizations, Left wing NGO’s and anti-Israel Student Organizations.

But when we hear these lies about the Jewish People and Israel, what should our response be?

WE MUST TELL THEM THE TRUTH.

I already mentioned one of the lies earlier, and its sole purpose is to make people believe that the Jewish people have no ties to the city of Jerusalem. And by the way, if anyone in the world has any doubt, I suggest they go visit many of our amazing museums where they will find ancient Jewish artifacts. I have yet to hear about any “Palestinian” findings.

Another of the lies that is well spread is that the Palestinians are ruled by Israel.

My friends, the truth of the matter is that the PALESTINIANS RULE THEMSELVES and this is the case for 23 years already. They run their own educational system, healthcare, security, financial, justice and media. All under the Palestinian Authority.

Sadly, almost in every instance, they use their influence to glorify violence and death.

In schools their text books are filled with hatred toward Jews and Israel. Their year-end ceremony includes a kidnapping of Israel soldier or worse.

In their court system they give a death sentence to those who sell their private land to Jews.

Their financial system have budgets for families and individuals who commit terror and to those who murder Israelis.

They use their health systems and facilities to hide and transport weapons and terrorists (most notably in Gaza).

They use their media to incite the youth to violence and publish “how to kill Israelis” videos.

And all of this, with the full support, encouragement and approval and at times even at the direction of the Palestinian Authority.

My friends, are we speaking the same language here? Or maybe I should say, are we on the same page here?

I ask myself, what prevents the Palestinian Authority from engaging Israel without any preconditions and making peace? Well, we all know the answer.

And we all know that Israel, on the other hand, is ready and willing for peace.

But each time we reach out to the other side, the terrorists spill more of our blood, and there is more mourning, more death.

This must stop.

Israel is not the obstacle to peace. Israel continues to extend its hand in the efforts of peace, but the choice to end this war lays with the Palestinians themselves.

People always ask me why am I against the idea of the establishment of a Palestinian state. To that I answer:

1. Jews have always had a connection to the land of Israel since the beginning of our time and before anyone else was walking on this land. Our entire identity and “who we are” evolves around this land and its history. Our nation was born on the hills of Judea and Samaria.

2. Israel need stable and defensible boarders in order to survive in the Middle East; a Palestinian state will place a direct security threat upon all of the citizen of Israel.

3. I want my children to grow up with peaceful neighbors, not generations of children that call for our death and destruction.

My friends, I’m happy to see that the Trump administration says what I’ve been saying all along, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the obstacle towards peace!

It is the Palestinians’ leaders who are the obstacle to Peace.

So for as long as I am elected to serve my country, I will ensure that a Palestinian state will not be created.

My friends, before I go I would like to tell you this, ISRAEL IS A LIGHTHOUSE OF DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, black or white, left or right, gay or straight, and there is really no difference if you are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. We are life loving people, our strength is our freedom and values. All citizens of Israel live together in peace. Now my friends, how many other countries in the Middle East hold and live by these values? Instead of fighting with Israel, they should view Israel as a role model and stop preaching us to make peace.

And for this my friends, I am so proud to call myself an Israeli. Proud of our democracy, economy and our achievements. I’m proud of our advances in science and technology.

My friends, Israel and the United States have always been close allies. I am happy with our current accomplishments but I am even more excited about what we can and will accomplish in the future.

In the coming years, America and Israel must stand shoulder to shoulder in matters relating to the Middle East. We must stand united when they burn our flags. We must stand together when they attack nightclubs and cafes.

ISRAEL HAS NO BETTER FRIEND THAN THE UNITED STATES, AND THE UNITED STATES HAS NO BETTER ALLY THAN ISRAEL.

And so, I look forward to continue working with the United States in making true peace in the Middle East while building stronger connections in the field of science and technology.

Thank you again for the warm welcome and for allowing me to address you all today. I’m sure you will enjoy the rest of the conference. Until next time, shalom and toda raba!

Sent to Arutz Sheva by the MK, this is an excerpt from Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis’s speech to the JPost Conference in New York, May 7, 2017.

Nothing happens in America besides carping about Trump

May 12, 2017

Nothing happens in America besides carping about Trump, Israel National News, Jack Engelhard, May 12, 2017

Yes, it’s time to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who cares what the Democrats will say. 

Give them something else to carp about. They’re already out of their minds.

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President Trump’s visit to Israel later this month will be a timely getaway from all the feverish heat he’s been taking here in the U.S.A.

He may want to stay in Israel until the Democrats calm down…and whoever thought we’d say that Israel is a much calmer place than America.

But so it is at this moment. Being a Republican, especially being Trump, is not safe when nearly every Democrat in and out of Washington wants to skin you alive. From the moment Trump fired FBI Director James Comey – actually, from the moment Trump won the election – the Democrats have been on the warpath to oust him from office.

They want nothing less than his abdication by whatever means. That’s all they think about. They have no agenda for the rest of America.

Trump is their agenda – period.

Every day they find something else to pin on him and dumping Comey was just another ticket for them…and the howling began and won’t stop.

Throughout the dials, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, it’s been a cavalcade of rhetorical hysteria.

Trump was acting tyrannical, cried Chris Matthews on MSNBC – the same Matthews who gets a thrill up his leg only when it’s Obama talking and acting.

Unconstitutional, wailed Chuck Todd at NBC. On CNN, Anderson Cooper was plainly crude and rude to Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

So it’s been and so it continues and the theme was set when Chuck Schumer raged in the Senate that Comey was getting “too close to home.” That’s why Trump fired him – and what is home to the Democrats? Russia. They are obsessed by Russia, these Democrats, and fixed on a dream that one day they will find the secret door that leads from Putin to Trump.

In fact, even as we speak, three investigations are underway with Russia in mind as intrusive troublemakers – in the Senate, the House and at the FBI.

In addition to that, Schumer wants a Special Prosecutor to prosecute…I mean investigate Trump and Russia and whatever links can be found between the two…even if it takes the next four to eight years. In other words, if you ask what’s going on in America today, the answer is, nothing much – nothing much besides Trump and Russia.

So it goes so long as we have a two party system and the party that loses just won’t quit. Instead of behaving like ladies and gentlemen, they turn into a mob.

In Israel, famous politically for running the country with 34 (yes, 34) political parties, the constant Bibi-bashing in the media pales when compared to the anti-Trump frenzy in the US.

And in Israel, things are getting done. One of those things is getting ready for Trump’s visit. He could not have picked a better time, May 22/23.

That’s around the time when Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem. So here’s his chance to get away from it all and…and make good on a promise.

Yes, it’s time to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who cares what the Democrats will say.

Give them something else to carp about. They’re already out of their minds.

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”

May 8, 2017

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”  DEBKAfile, May 8, 2017

(Turkish Dictator President Erdogan and President Trump should have an interesting meeting next week. — DM)

Turkish President Reccep Erdogan talking to the International Forum on Jerusalem in Istanbul Monday, referred to the draft bills before the Knesset, banning amplified overnight calls to prayers from mosque loudspeakers in residential areas. He called the bill “shameful” and declared “we will not allow the silence of prayers form the heavens of Jerusalem.”  Erdogan also said that the discussions about the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem are extremely wrong. “We made the necessary warnings on this issue at the highest level and we are continuing to do so.”

Former Jordanian Culture Minister: No Problem With U.S. Moving Embassy To West Jerusalem

May 1, 2017

Former Jordanian Culture Minister: No Problem With U.S. Moving Embassy To West Jerusalem, MEMRI, May 1, 2017

In an April 30, 2017 article titled “Unpopular Statements,” Tareq Al-Masarwa, Jordan’s former culture minister and a senior columnist for the government daily Al-Rai, wrote that the U.S. can move its embassy to West Jerusalem[1] because the Palestinians and Arabs do not claim that part of the city. He called on the Arabs to face reality in light of the fundamental changes that have occurred in the Arab world in the last few years, and discard illusions of victory and fairytales about resistance.

The following are excerpts from his article:[2]

Tareq Al-Masarwa (image: Ahkelak.net)

“The Americans can move their embassy to the new [part of] Jerusalem [i.e. the western part] without sparking any serious rage among the Arabs. This is for the simple reason that the Palestinians and Arabs demand the Old City [of Jerusalem] – which they lost in the 1967 war, known as the Six Day War – as the capital of their state. I have not heard anyone demanding the 1948 part of Jerusalem [i.e., West Jerusalem], neither Hamas, the PLO nor anyone else.

“There is talk about U.S. President [Donald] Trump visiting the region [soon], including the hotspots of Israeli-Palestinian tension. Although the man is known for the promises he made before and after the elections, he can play the game of ‘Jerusalem the capital [of Israel]’ without causing awkwardness for [either] U.S. policy or his allies…

“I do not mean to seem like a spoil-sport. The U.S. president will meet Abu Mazen [Mahmoud ‘Abbas on May 3, 2017] and this meeting is meaningful, despite everything that is said about [Trump] constantly changing his mind according to his whim. The Palestinian president will demand a demilitarized state, to exit securely alongside Israel. The [late Palestinian] president Yasser Arafat also agreed at some point to the formula of ‘administrative autonomy’ in return for [permission to] return to Palestine. The Israeli occupation, [for its part,] has already come to terms with all the characteristics of the Palestinian state, except for the aspect of changing its basic designation [i.e., calling it a state rather than an authority or an autonomy].

“Today many things have changed, and much water has passed under the bridge, as the saying goes. It’s time to face the bitter reality. Who thought that the Syria disaster would enter its seventh year, that Iraq would [have to] borrow money to pay the salaries of its civil servants, that an Arab war would rage in Yemen, and that Libya would return to the state it was in before King Idris unified its three provinces?

“[King] ‘Abdallah II managed to revive the [Arab League] summit on the Dead Sea and to strike a pact of Arab cooperation in this region. It’s time to face reality as it is, without the illusion of victory and the fairytales about resistance, for we are not in the best of situations.”

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[1] Senior journalist ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed made similar statements in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6764, Prominent Saudi Journalist: West Jerusalem Is Part Of Israel; Moving The U.S. Embassy There As Part Of Overall Peace Agreement Could Herald The End Of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, January 31, 2017.

[2] Al-Rai (Jordan), April 30, 2017.

Arab Foreign Ministers Discuss Blocking U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem

March 6, 2017

Arab Foreign Ministers Discuss Blocking U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem, BreitbartDeborah Danan, March 6, 2017

(There have been credible reports that, when PM Netanyahu met with President Trump, he asked Trump to delay his largely symbolic move of the American embassy to Jerusalem because an otherwise likely and more important agreement with the Arab nations on combatting Iran’s involvement in their spheres of influence could well be jeopardized. — DM)

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

TEL AVIV – Ahead of the Arab League Summit later this month, foreign ministers of member states gathered in Cairo on Sunday and Monday to discuss how to prevent President Donald Trump from going through with his promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.

The “Palestinian issue,” along with the embassy move to “occupied Jerusalem,” were among 28 items on the agenda, according to a press release from the Arab League’s Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Bin Hali.

In January, the League’s Assistant Secretary-General for Palestinian Affairs Said Abu Ali urged Trump to “reconsider” the embassy move or else the U.S. will be in danger of losing its status “as an objective sponsor of the peace process.”

Bin Hali said that another item to be discussed by representatives of member states is the “Arab League’s plan to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.” He added that ahead of the summit in Jordan on March 23, the representatives will discuss the terrorism spreading in the Arab world, and the role of Turkey and Iran in regional conflicts.

Bin Hali also told reporters that Iran’s meddling in other states’ affairs must be stopped and that the member states of the Arab League must view this, as well as Tehran’s nuclear aspirations, as a shared interest. According to Bin Hali, the lack of a “unified stance” on the part of Arab world was its biggest problem.

He said that despite efforts to that end, “there are still Arab officials who remain divisive and who seek to provoke tension in relations between Arab states.”

“We are all in the same boat. We are all affected by the regional security issues and therefore we must work towards resolving our internal strife,” he added.