CAIRO, April 22 — The Arab Parliament underlined its intentions to encourage joint efforts on the region’s internal affairs after meeting on Monday.
A final statement following the conclusion of the Arab League parliament’s second biannual talks said that the AP would aim to be an “open space” that will encourage “discussion, democracy, freedom and human rights.”
It also described itself as a “collective framework of parliamentary representation of the Arab people and an effective system that aims to achieve social justice.”
Arab leaders adopted the AP’s statute, “which determines its functions and legal and supervisory powers in a very transparent manner.”
The statute gives the AP the right for “legislation, supervision and discussion of issues, decisions and agreements that are referred to it on a mandatory or non-mandatory status.”
The AP also has the right to look into the budgetary policies of the Arab League’s General Secretariat and its specialized bodies.
The meeting, which was specifically aimed at discussing Palestinian affairs, had convened earlier in the day with a keynote speech by speaker Ahmad Al-Jarwan, who stressed that, “the Arab Parliament will not stop supporting or exerting efforts to find a just and comprehensive solution to it.”
Assessing Israel’s current policies towards the Palestinians, he said its recent practices were “illegal” and “an aggression on the Palestinian people and territories, particularly on Muslim and Christian holy sites in the occupied East Jerusalem.” These acts violate relevant UN resolutions and international laws, he said, urging the international community to take action.
He also expressed solidarity with Palestinian prisoners locked in Israeli jails, calling on global human rights organizations “to do their best to defend them.”
On the Syrian crisis, Al-Jarwan reiterated the AP’s support of the Syrian people and its continuing efforts aimed at bringing to a halt the ongoing bloodshed and humanitarian crisis.
In the meantime, he underlined the importance of forging ahead with plans to formulate a strategic partnership amongst Arab countries aimed at defending their interests and national security.
On this, the AP chief particularly lauded what he described as “the wisdom of Gulf Cooperation Council member state leaders” on their recent agreement to build a solid ground for cooperation on major issues of concern.
Following the talks, Kuwait’s chief delegate and parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim told KUNA that his recent visits to the parliaments of Europe, Germany and France are part of a foreign policy aimed at discussing Arab issues, particularly Palestinian affairs, and that these visits will be followed by others to permanent UN Security Council member nations.
“Most influential nations in the world, at the moment, are democratic nations whose governments cannot make decisions without parliamentary approval,” he said, referring to the need to gain their support on these matters.
Al-Ghanim, who also heads the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, AIPU, went on to stress the need for cooperation with the AP on addressing these matters, explaining that they could also focus on “other specialized matters” in a “technocratic manner – whereby each could practice their role in order to save time and effort.
“The Arab Parliament has an important role on this as it represents the Arab people. And this is why the voice of the Arab people should be clear and resounding,” he added.
The proposal is something the senior parliamentary figure said he would be discussing with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby in a meeting Tuesday.
“We are all working in our respective positions according to the same goals and aspirations, and thus, coordination is a duty for us in our mission to execute what we have been tasked with by the people who voted us into these positions,” he concluded.