MIDRAND, South Africa, 4th May, 2016 (WAM) – Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, Speaker of the Arab Parliament, has stressed the importance of Arab – African relations.

He stated that the African continent represents the strategic dimension to the Arab world given the close links between the Arab and African peoples in light of the geographic proximity and strategic location.

Al Jarwan was addressing the inaugural second regular session of the Pan-African Parliament, held in the city of Midrand, South Africa. “The Arab-African co-operation, and joint and integrated action between African and Arab countries would bring peace, security, development and prosperity to our people,” he said.

The Arab Parliament Speaker condemned the phenomenon of terrorism sown in the area by groups seeking to tamper with destiny of peoples to prevent development and prosperity. He reiterated his call for serious and concerted international action at all levels to eliminate and uproot terrorism, warning of the spread of this phenomenon, which is now unfolding in different parts of the world.

Al Jarwan also called on the Pan-African Parliament to co-operate to educate future generations about the danger of this scourge so as to fortify them against terrorism and subversive ideas.

He called on Iran to end its occupation of the three UAE islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa, through direct negotiations or resort to the International Court of Justice.

Al Jarwan condemned Iran’s blatant interference in internal Arab affairs, and urged it to comply with the international laws, the principles of good neighbourliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of States. He praised the efforts of the Arab coalition forces in Yemen.

“We stand behind the will of the people of Yemen and back their choices against those who want to manipulate their will and legitimate government through imposing external policies and agendas. We back the Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, in support of the legitimacy in Yemen. We also call for a solution that ensures the right and sovereignty for the people of Yemen, as well as an end to the current crisis to restore peace and security to Yemen,” Al Jarwan said.

He congratulated the Pan-African Parliament on the return of Egypt’s representatives to the parliament, citing Egypt’s important role in enriching the African parliamentary work.

Regarding Palestine, Al Jarwan called for ending of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories to allow Palestinians to set up their own sovereign state with Jerusalem as a capital.

He underlined the importance of joint Arab-African action, commending the resolutions of the Arab- African Summit, which was held in Kuwait.