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Aboul Gheit in Beirut to talk U.S. Golan stance.

Summary: During a trip to Beirut Tuesday, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit discussed the Arab League's reaction to the U.S. decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

BEIRUT: During a trip to Beirut Tuesday, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit discussed the Arab League's reaction to the U.S. decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's stance is in complete agreement with Arab nations' decision "because it reflects a clear Arab position on the illegality of the U.S.' entire stance on Golan and Jerusalem," Aboul Gheit said after meeting Bassil, according to a statement from the foreign minister's office.

During an Arab League summit held late last month in Tunis, Arab nations unanimously condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's Golan Heights, and said they would take the issue before the United Nations Security Council.

Even Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar - all regional allies of Washington that host American troops - criticized Trump's move, describing the declaration as a clear violation of a 1981 U.N. charter declaring Israel's occupation of Golan "null and void."

The secretary-general and Bassil also discussed the possible re-entry of Syria into the Arab League, although he said he considered the issue "not ready" for a final decision.

Aboul Gheit met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri to inquire about his health after the latter underwent a heart operation last month.

"I asked him about the situation in Lebanon, and he assured me that it is fine," a statement from Hariri's office quoted Aboul Gheit as saying.

Finally, the Arab League head met with President Michel Aoun to discuss local and regional developments in light of resolutions adopted at the recent summit.

Aboul Gheit was visiting Beirut to participate in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, launched Tuesday at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Downtown. The regional forum will follow up on the implementation of the U.N.'s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab World.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Apr 10, 2019
Words:361
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