The full text of the second edition of the Middle East Green Summit presidential communiqué and statement can be found below.
At the kind joint invitation from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the second edition of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in the presence of a number of leaders from Middle Eastern and African countries along with international officials in the environment and climate change sector on Monday the 7th of November 2022, co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The assembled leaders valued the efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in preserving the environment and limiting the impact of climate change, particularly the two initiatives by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the “Saudi Green Initiative” and the “Middle East Green Initiative” for the positive impact they will leave on the environment in regional countries and the world, improving the quality of life, and facing the challenges of climate change.
Assembled leaders valued the efforts made by the Arab Republic of Egypt and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to host the second Middle East Green Initiative Summit in his country in conjunction with (COP27).
The assembled leaders stressed the importance of joint collective action in achieving the desired goals of the Middle East Green Initiative, believing in the importance of its goals that can be realized through concerted efforts and active contributions by regional nations.
The assembled leaders affirmed that the second Middle East Green Initiative would contribute to accelerating the realization of 2030 sustainable development goals, and to achieving prosperity for the populations of member states.
The assembled leaders stressed the importance of achieving climate and environmental goals, in addition to adhering to related international conventions approved by the United Nations, in a way that contributes to achieving the UN sustainable development goals for 2030 and the UN Decade in Ecosystem Restoration, determination to achieve integration and close coordination between member states, and investing that in raising their collective capability to face the challenges of climate change.
The assembled leaders affirmed that member states in the initiative adhere to implementing their pledges and commitments within the framework of the Paris Agreement, and to working on taking the necessary measures to curb the rise of the average global temperature in accordance with the levels set by the Paris Agreement.
1-The assembled leaders reiterated the importance of working to strengthen support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to achieve sustainable development goals that contribute to economic diversity and the eradication of poverty.
2-The assembled leaders emphasized enhancing the integration of the optimal energy mix for electricity production, supporting the electrical grid’s capacity for the entry of renewable energy, contributing to achieving climate change targets through signing interconnection memorandums and agreements that were signed with multiple regional nations such as Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan, as an extension of interconnection cooperation for the GCC countries.
3-The Assembled leaders affirmed support for efforts to reduce emissions in the Middle East region and beyond by signing bilateral and multilateral agreements and MOUs in the field of clean energy, which will advance cooperation in clean energy and its technologies and expand its scope in this field.
4-The Assembled leaders endorsed the importance of joint cooperation to address and manage the challenges posed by greenhouse gas emissions through a holistic approach and various available clean technologies, including the circular carbon economy approach and its four pillars, which represent an integrated, comprehensive framework and applications that countries can utilize in developing climate action plans in line with the national priorities and conditions of each country.
5-The Assembled leaders reiterated strengthening joint action to support efforts to develop and disseminate modern technologies for carbon capture, utilization, and storage, and decarburization technologies, in particular, from energy-intensive and emission-intensive sectors, while promoting investments in this field to contribute to the international efforts to address emissions.
6-The Assembled leaders affirmed commitment to adopting an appropriate national approach to achieve a just transition to a low-emissions development model capable of adapting to the effects of climate change, based on proven scientific recommendations, agreed responsibilities and principles, primarily fairness and justice, and taking into account the national conditions of each country.
7-The Assembled leaders stressed the importance of joint international action in the field of “clean fuel” solutions to provide food, which contributes to achieving sustainable development goals, in general, and Goal (7), in particular, that aspires to universal access to reliable and sustainable energy at the most affordable cost.
8-The assembled leaders expressed their determination to continue cooperation with friendly countries and regional international organizations to ensure achieving the goals of the Middle East Green Summit, and to serve the interests of member states and international partners.
The assembled leaders affirmed their commitment to prepare a better future for upcoming generations, believing in the importance of what the initiative aspires to do towards the sustainable development of the region and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity in it for the benefit of the countries and peoples of the whole world.
The assembled leaders reiterated the importance of emphasizing the mobilization and provision of necessary funding for the Middle East Green Initiative, and for all technologies and solutions that contribute to addressing emissions through bilateral,regional, and international frameworks, and coordination in this context, in addition to welcoming the financing pledges made by a number of banks and the OPEC Fund for International Development.
The assembled leaders affirmed that implementation of the objectives of the Middle East Green Initiative would contribute to reducing and managing greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, including renewable energy and clean technologies to manage emissions from hydrocarbon materials, and remove millions of tons of carbon emissions through technological and natural solutions.
The assembled leaders renewed their determination to exert efforts to reach the initiative’s goals to limit land deterioration, restore vegetation cover, maintain biological diversity, adapt to climate change, curb its negative effects to reduce economic losses, support sustainable development, and realize prosperity.
The assembled leaders renewed their determination to agree to enhance cooperation and support regarding the improvement of managing natural resources, and combating land deterioration and desertification, while making a commitment to make joint efforts to strengthen water security and food security in the face of the negative effects of climate change.
The assembled leaders stressed the importance of cross border cooperation in various areas, especially considering the management of vulnerable resources due to climate change, in a manner that strengthens joint action frameworks including bilateral, regional, and collective ones.
The assembled leaders called upon countries, related regional and international organizations and commissions, as well finance institutions and the private sector to provide financial and technical support for the initiative to enable it to achieve its ambitious targets on the national, regional, and international levels.
The assembled leaders expressed their appreciation of President Abdelfattah El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for their leadership of these efforts and joint invitation in hosting the second summit of the Middle East Green Initiative in the city of Sharm El Sheikh, and for the hospitality and support for this summit by the government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
At the joint invitation of President Abdelfattah El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister, the Green Middle East Summit, in its second edition, was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in the presence of a number of leaders of Middle Eastern and African countries and international officials in the environment and climate change sector on Monday, November 07, 2022, under the joint Saudi-Egyptian presidency.
The gathered leaders valued the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of preserving the environment and limiting the effects of climate change, in particular the two initiatives of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Green Saudi Arabia, and the Green Middle East, for their positive impact on the environment in the countries of the region and the world, improving the quality of life, and facing the challenges of climate change.
The leaders valued the efforts of Egypt, and President Abdelfattah El-Sisi, for his country’s hosting of the second Green Middle East Summit, in conjunction with the holding of the Climate Change Conference (COP27).
The leaders stressed the importance of joint work in achieving the desired goals of the Green Middle East Initiative, believing in the importance of its goals that would be achieved through concerted efforts and the active contribution of countries in the region.
The leaders affirmed that the second Green Middle East Initiative will contribute to accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and achieving prosperity for the peoples of the member states.
The leaders stressed the importance of achieving climate and environmental goals, adhering to the relevant international conventions approved by the UN, which contributes to achieving the goals of the UN Sustainable Development Organization for the year 2030, and the UN Decade for the Restoration of Ecosystems, and the determination to achieve integration and close coordination among Member States and invest that in raising its collective capacity in facing the challenges of climate change.
The gathered leaders affirmed the commitment of the member states of the initiative to implement their pledges and commitments within the framework of the Paris Agreement and to take the necessary measures to limit the average global temperature rise according to the levels set by the Paris Agreement.
The leaders reiterated the importance of working to enhance support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of sustainable development goals, in a way that contributes to economic diversification and poverty eradication.
The leaders emphasized the enhancement of the integration of the optimized energy mix to produce electricity, support for the accommodation of electric grids to enter renewable energy, and the contribution to achieve climate change goals by signing memoranda and electrical interconnection agreements that were signed with many countries in the region such as Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan, and what they will constitute of an extension of cooperation in the electrical interconnection grids with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).
The leaders affirmed support for efforts to reduce emissions inside and outside the Middle East by signing bilateral and multilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding in the field of clean energy, which will advance and expand cooperation in clean energy and its technologies in this field.
The leaders stressed the importance of joint cooperation to address and manage the challenges arising from greenhouse gas emissions through a holistic approach and various available clean technologies, including the circular carbon economy approach and its four pillars, which represent an integrated and comprehensive framework that countries can benefit from and its applications in their development of climate action plans in line with the national priorities and conditions of each country.
The gathered leaders reiterated their emphasis on enhancing joint action to support efforts to develop modern technologies for use and storage of the carbon capture, and decarbonization technologies, in particular, from energy-intensive and emission-intensive sectors, with promoting investments in this field to contribute to the international effort to address emissions.
The leaders affirmed their commitment to adopt an appropriate national approach to achieve a just transformation of a low-emissions development model capable of adapting to the effects of climate change, based on proven scientific recommendations, responsibilities and agreed principles, foremost of which is equity and justice, and taking into account the national circumstances of each country.
The leaders stressed the importance of joint international action in the field of “clean fuel” solutions to provide food, which contributes to achieve the sustainable development goals in general, and the seventh goal, in particular, which aspires to universal access to reliable and sustainable energy at the most affordable cost.
The leaders expressed their determination to continue cooperation with friendly countries and regional and international organizations to ensure the achievement of the goals of the Green Middle East Summit, and to serve the interests of member states and international partners.
The leaders affirmed their commitment to creating a better future for the generations to come, believing in the importance of the initiative’s aspiration for the sustainable development of the region and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity in it for the benefit of the countries and peoples of the whole world.
The leaders reiterated the importance of emphasizing the mobilization and provision of the necessary financing for the Green Middle East Initiative, and for all technologies and solutions that contribute to addressing emissions through bilateral, regional and international frameworks. In addition, they welcomed the financing pledges provided by a number of funds, especially the Islamic Development Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development.
The leaders emphasized that implementing the goals of the Green Middle East Initiative will contribute to reducing and managing greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, including renewable energy and clean technologies for managing hydrocarbon emissions, and removing millions of tons of carbon emissions through technical and natural solutions.
The leaders renewed their determination to exert efforts to achieve the initiative’s goals to reduce land degradation, restore vegetation cover, preserve biodiversity, adapt to climate change and reduce its negative impacts to reduce economic losses, support sustainable development and achieve prosperity.
The leaders renewed their determination to agree to enhance cooperation and support in improving the management of natural resources and combating land degradation and desertification, with a commitment to make joint efforts to enhance water and food security in the face of the negative effects of climate change.
The leaders stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation in various fields, especially with regard to managing vulnerable resources due to the climate change, in a way that enhances joint action frameworks, whether in the bilateral, regional or collective framework.
The gathered leaders called on countries, organizations, relevant regional and international bodies, financing institutions and the private sector to provide financial and technical support for the initiative to enable it to achieve its ambitious goals at the national, regional and international levels.
The gathered leaders expressed their appreciation to President Abdelfattah El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their leadership of these efforts and their joint invitation to host the second Green Middle East Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh and to the Government and people of Egypt for their generous hospitality and support for this summit.
JERUSALEM: Palestinian militants fired a rocket from Gaza into Israel Saturday without causing any casualties, the army said, as a surge in violence grips the occupied West Bank.
There was no immediate claim for the attack, the first in a month according to the army.
However, one of Gaza’s larger armed factions, Islamic Jihad, had threatened to retaliate after Israeli troops killed two of its leaders in the West Bank town of Jenin on Thursday.
Witnesses said the Israeli army swiftly riposted by firing on two observation posts east of Gaza City, operated by the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
The rocket attack came as a surge in bloodshed in the occupied West Bank sparked international criticism of the Israeli army for its use of lethal force against Palestinian civilians.
Criticism has focused on the killing of Ammar Hadi Mufleh, 22, in disputed circumstances in the town of Huwara, just south of Nablus, on Friday.
United Nations Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said he was “horrified” by the killing “during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier.”
The European Union said it was “greatly concerned about the increasing level of violence” which had seen 10 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in recent days.
“Such unacceptable facts must be investigated and there must be full accountability,” EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borell said.
“Under international law, lethal force is only justified in situations in which there exists a serious and imminent threat to life.”
According to the Israeli version of events, Mufleh tried to force open the door of an Israeli couple’s car before stabbing a border policeman.
A senior border police officer then shot Mufleh dead, saying that the Palestinian had made a grab for his weapon.
Palestinian municipal official Wajeh Odeh told AFP the shooting followed “a quarrel.”
“An Israeli soldier pushed the Palestinian to the floor and shot him from zero distance,” Odeh said.
The Israeli foreign ministry responded angrily to the criticism.
“This reaction is a total distortion of reality,” it tweeted in English. “This is NOT a ‘scuffle’ -this is a terror attack!“
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said he fully supported the border police officer’s decision to open fire “to save lives.”
“Our security forces will continue to act resolutely against terrorism,” he said.
At least 145 Palestinians and 26 Israelis have been killed in violence in Israel and the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, this year, the heaviest toll since 2015.
SAO PAULO: The World Cup is a big deal in Latin America, with cities across Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and elsewhere brought to a standstill whenever their respective national teams are on the pitch. But for one segment of society in particular, the 2022 tournament hosted by Qatar is particularly significant.
Arab Latin Americans are thought to number about 23 million people. There are large communities in Brazil and Argentina, and significant populations in Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia, made up of descendants of Arab emigrants who came over from the Middle East and North Africa, voluntarily or as refugees. And, like everybody else in these countries, Arabs love football.
The fact the 2022 World Cup is taking place in an Arab country for the first time provides an even greater incentive for the Arab diaspora in Latin America to tune in from distant time zones. The only question is whether to support the Arab side that reflects their ethnic origins, or the teams of their adopted countries.
Qatar’s hosting of the competition “certainly generates sympathy among Arab communities; people have been waiting for that World Cup for a long time,” Agustin Dib, director of the Arab Culture Club in Buenos Aires, told Arab News.
According to him, however, most Arab Latin Americans tend to root for the team that represents their adopted home.
“In Argentina, the first Lebanese and Syrian immigrants began to arrive at the end of the 19th century,” said Dib. “The same happened in Brazil. So, we are fully Argentinian, Brazilian, and so on — and love our national teams.”
At the same time, though, Arab Latin Americans watch with pride national squads from the Arab world and eagerly follow the fortunes of the likes of Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Qatar. The Saudi team’s historic 2-1 victory against Argentina in their opening match in Qatar no doubt captured the imagination of many.
There are large Arab communities in the border zones between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In these areas, a World Cup campaign can temporarily divide Arab groups.
This is certainly the case in the bisected Brazilian city of Chui and its Uruguayan counterpart, Chuy, where several thousand Palestinians have settled. Most of the time, this community pays little heed to the geographical boundary separating them. But a World Cup can change this.
“In general, we cheer for both Uruguay and Brazil,” Jaber Nassar, a 43-year-old shop owner who lives on the Brazilian side of the city, told Arab News. “But if there is a match between both teams, each side will root for its national squad.”
The rest of the time, though, there has traditionally been a historic bond between both communities when it comes to football. In 1987, they founded the Central Palestino Futbol Club. Active for a little more than a decade before folding as a result of lack of funds, Central Palestino was part of the Uruguayan league and made waves in the 1990s when it reached the finals of a national championship.
“I used to see many matches with my mother when I was a boy. Central Palestino was a local champion and we would travel throughout Uruguay to see them play,” said Nassar, whose brother-in-law was part of the squad for several years.
The Palestinian community routinely turns out in force to watch as many matches as possible during a World Cup, said Nassar. A few of his friends even traveled to Qatar for the tournament.
“Of course, we will focus on the Arab teams,” he added.
Nassar said the Palestinians love of South American football is not only a byproduct of immigration. Even in Palestine, he said, many people cheer for Brazil during international tournaments.
* The Arab diaspora in Central and South America is thought to number about 23 million people.
* The biggest Arab communities are in Brazil and Argentina, followed by Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia.
According to Dib, this is common in many Arab nations and reflects a recognition of, and appreciation for, the prowess of top South American players.
“In countries like Syria and Lebanon, people love Argentinian and Brazilian football,” he said. “I lived for a few months in Tunisia and people would always ask me about Maradona and Messi.”
Zuka Khouri, who left Syria as a refugee and settled in the Brazilian city of Curitiba nine years ago, said her family cheers for the Brazilian national team during every World Cup.
“We also liked to see Italy play,” she told Arab News. “This year Italy is not in the competition so we are rooting for Brazil.”
Anas Obaid, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee, was captured and held hostage by an armed group in Syria until his family paid a ransom. After his release, he fled to Lebanon where he worked in a refugee camp in Zahle. He has lived in Brazil since 2015 and is now a journalist and human rights activist. He loves football and said he used to cheer for Argentina when he was a child.
“I was there during the 2014 World Cup, which took place in Brazil,” Obaid told Arab News. “I rooted for Germany, because the country was welcoming many Syrian refugees. But some in the camp rooted for Brazil.”
Since arriving in Sao Paulo, he said has become an ardent supporter of the Brazilian national team. “Brazilians have a passion for football and it is an honor to root for their squad,” he said.
Although football is unequivocally a national obsession in Brazil, and the World Cup a major event for the people there, the number of Brazilian fans who bought tickets for matches in Qatar, 39,546, is significantly lower than the numbers of Argentines (61,083) and Mexicans (91,173).
Mexico regularly sends a large contingent of fans to World Cups. Most Arab Mexicans are of Lebanese origin, according to Hector Chamlati, a member of the consulting board of Centro Libanes, a community association in Mexico City. The number of Lebanese Mexicans is estimated at about 500,000, most of whom are Christians.
“We have a very strong connection with the Mexican national team,” Chamlati told Arab News. “But it pleases many of us to see Arab teams play. I was glad to see that Tunisia managed to draw with Denmark (on Nov. 22).”
The grandson of Lebanese immigrants, he said the Mexican community feels an intense connection to Lebanon and if the country’s national team was competing in Qatar, many of them would certainly root for them.
“But I think it is special to see the potential success of any Arab squad,” he added.
Jose Alejandro Serio Haddad, a 25-year old Lebanese Mexican, traveled to Qatar with his friends to watch Mexico play. It was his first visit to an Arab country and proved to be something of a culture shock.
“I think Qatari and Lebanese culture are very different,” he told Arab News. “Besides, the number of Arabs here is not very high. Most of the time we meet with South Asians. We feel like foreigners all the time.”
Serio Haddad was not confident about the chances of any Arab teams progressing from the group phase to the final stages of the tournament “but we certainly feel more empathy with them than with Latin American teams, like Argentina, for instance.”
As for the fact that the World Cup is being hosted by a Muslim country for the first time, Obaid said that this was certainly noteworthy but he was unhappy with the amount of criticism that has been leveled against Qatar.
“I am concerned by the international community’s reaction,” he said. “It can be a way of fighting prejudices over Muslims and Arabs. But at the same time people are paying much more attention to Qatar’s social contradictions than they did when the (competition) happened in non-Muslim countries.”
Dib said he has been organizing talks to discuss the common distortions in the way Western countries perceive the World Cup in Qatar.
“Since the first World Cup, in Uruguay in 1930, there have been corruption scandals, for instance,” he said. “But the media now focuses almost exclusively on Qatar’s problems. It is a matter of prejudice.”
In any other context, Dib said, the global press would have talked about the construction marvels achieved by the hosting country “but given that it is an Arab nation, it only talks about the deaths that occurred during construction.”
He added: “I am not saying those problems are not important but the exclusive focus on them is a problem. It has to do with Orientalism as defined by Edward Said.”
In his 1978 book, “Orientalism,” Said established the term as a critical concept to describe the often contemptuous Western depiction of the East.
Dib said that many Arab Latin Americans are not comfortable with what many perceive as biased coverage of Qatar — which has been echoed in the Latin American media as well — because they feel that “there is an ongoing attack on Arab culture as a whole.”
LONDON: Several charitable organizations and activist groups have called on French President Emmanuel Macron to act immediately against the expulsion of French Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri by Israeli authorities.
Israel on Thursday announced it had stripped Hamouri of his Jerusalem residency and planned to deport him to France, saying he was an “activist in a banned militant group.”
French citizen Hamouri, who has been held since March in administrative detention — a tool that allows Israeli authorities to hold suspects without charge for months on end — faces deportation as early as Sunday despite being a life-long resident of Jerusalem.
His charge, as announced by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, is a “failure of allegiance” toward the state of Israel, first confirmed on June 29 last year. He has not been convicted in the proceedings.
Israel claims that Hamouri is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the US.
He is a lawyer for Adameer, a rights group that assists Palestinian prisoners that Israel has banned for alleged ties to the PFLP, and previously spent seven years in prison after being convicted in an alleged plot to kill a prominent rabbi, but was released in a 2011 prisoner swap with Hamas.
Human Rights Watch, ACAT-France, Amnesty International France, the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders are appealing to Macron to immediately call on the Israeli authorities to release Hamouri.
They said the decision set a dangerous precedent for Palestinian human rights defenders and advocates in Jerusalem, who could be systematically targeted on this basis.
Attorney for human rights activist group HaMoked, Dani Shenhar, called the stripping of his residency a “drastic measure that violates a person’s basic right to live in their homeland.”
She continued: “As a member of the indigenous population of Jerusalem, Hamouri owes no allegiance to the state of Israel, the fact that this decision was made largely on the basis of secret evidence only exacerbates the injustice.”
Israel’s Supreme Court this week cleared the way for the deportation after rejecting an appeal from HaMoked.
BEIRUT: Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has called for a Cabinet meeting on Monday to deal with urgent matters in the country.
He announced the move during a speech at the inauguration of the International Arab Book Fair in Beirut.
The move has outraged Christian blocs in the Lebanese ruling class which consider it an unconstitutional step and an attempt to bypass the priority of electing a new president.
Some eight electoral sessions have failed to procure a new president and the leadership vacuum has entered a second month.
Mikati confirmed that he had called the Cabinet to convene to try and tackle problems which, he said, were deemed important by ministers.
An agenda comprising 65 items has been issued, although Mikati pledged in a parliamentary session held about a month ago not to call a Cabinet session amid the presidential vacuum, unless everyone agreed to the move.
The decision raised concerns among members of the Free Patriotic Movement. The party denounced the invitation, fearing that the resigned government will carry out prerogatives reserved for the president.
In an attempt to reassure those who are skeptical, Mikati said more than 40 items could be excluded from the agenda.
He said: “We will only approve the matters that are deemed important and urgent by ministers.
“It disappoints me when some people consider the meeting a sectarian move or an attempt that targets a specific group.
“Do we discriminate when we provide assistance? What is being said is unacceptable.”
Mikati added: “There’s a file related to cancer and dialysis patients that should be approved.
“What our Cabinet does is perform governmental duties to serve the citizens. Whoever has an alternative can propose it.”
Mikati said he hoped no one would boycott the meeting as ministers had a sense of patriotism. He added he was hopeful of a broad participation on Monday.
He also called on those responsible to accelerate the process of electing a president.
He said: “What is required first and foremost is the political will of the various political forces and blocs to complete the convening of constitutional institutions by electing a new president as soon as possible.”
He added that the adoption of reform laws must take place before the final agreement with the International Monetary Fund, in order to secure the opportunity for the promised economic recovery.
The urgent item that prompted Mikati to call the Cabinet session is related to the settlement of amounts due to hospitals.
It includes the approval of a request to cover the purchase of medicines for incurable and cancerous diseases using $35 million from the Central Bank over three months.
Ministers from the FPM announced that they will boycott Monday’s session.
However, it has been reported that Mikati’s move received the support of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, despite the strong alliance between Hezbollah and the FPM.
The Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon said that using people’s health for political sparring was unacceptable.
It said patients were not responsible for the presidential vacuum, nor for the governmental status and the prerogatives of the caretaker Cabinet.
It has been reported that Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, Tourism Minister Walid Nassar, Justice Minister Henri Khoury, Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar, Energy Minister Walid Fayad and Defense Minister Maurice Slim will not attend Monday’s meeting.
However, despite the boycott, the quorum will still be met, as two-thirds of the members and Christian ministers from other blocs will attend it.
Meanwhile, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi has criticized the inability of parliament to elect a president after eight electoral sessions.
He described the unsuccessful parliamentary sessions as “comical.”
Addressing the deputies of Hezbollah and the FPM, who keep casting blank votes, he added: “Why don’t you announce your candidate’s name?
“Why would you secure the quorum in the first round, then leave in the second round? Isn’t this disrespectful to the Lebanese people and the presidency?
“Why do you act like this when it comes to the Maronite Christian president, while you elect the parliamentary speaker in one session and the prime minister is designated immediately following parliamentary consultations?
“It is as if you are saying that you can do without a president. If you were keen on respecting the national pact, how is the Christian element represented when you keep missing the chance to elect a president?”
CAIRO: Sheikh Ahmed Karima, a professor of comparative jurisprudence and Islamic law at Al-Azhar University, has confirmed that there are efforts and moves by some personalities outside Egypt to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
A number of those close to him are making efforts to support his nomination .
The professor told Arab News that the moves “come as a result of my efforts to bring together the Sunni, Shiite and Ibadi Islamic sects, as well as the societal initiatives that I have participated in launching over the past years.”
Karima said he is one of the pioneers in supporting the rapprochement between religious sects, and highlighted his efforts in confronting terrorism since 1996, saying he had published books citicial of the Muslim Brotherhood and Daesh.
“I also have a charitable foundation in the Haram area, and I call for stopping behavioral violence and consolidating and supporting world peace. These are activities that I have been working on for a very long time,” Karima added.
He told Arab News that the proposal that he adopted would also be based on the establishment of the Egyptian Center for World Peace, a specialized non-profit research center concerned with correcting misconceptions attributed to religious issues for the public benefit.
The center challenges false inferences, false citations, and remedies for the principles and agendas of intellectual and behavioral violence, Karima told Arab News.
He suggested that the center be affiliated with the presidency of Egypt, the presidency of the Egyptian Cabinet, and the Foundation for Harmony among people.
Karima said he was working “to spread the culture of environmental protection, in international conferences and scientific publications, including legal measures to protect the environment, in addition to sermons and seminars in mosques and cultural palaces and youth centers.”
He concluded his remarks by saying: “I wish I would win the Nobel Peace Prize, and if I win it, I will dedicate it to Al-Azhar Al-Sharif.
“I was also surprised by negative propaganda campaigns by European institutions and personalities against my candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize.”