CAIRO, 28th February, 2016 (WAM)–The UAE has participated at the second joint conference of the Arab League and the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, which began today at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League, under the title of “Regional Security Implications of Iran’s Nuclear Agreement with the Group of 5 +1.”

The conference was attended by Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, Speaker of the Arab Parliament and other officials.

The UAE was represented by Khalifa Al Tunaiji, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE to the Arab League.

In his opening speech, Elaraby warned about the danger of unrest and unfolding armed conflicts, which resulted in the partial collapse of all national institutions in some countries in the region, as well as the emergence of cross-border terrorist organisations. He said these challenges were a prelude to foreign intervention in the region, and highlighted the negative repercussions that threaten Arab national security.

He further noted that the conference comes at a time when Arab countries are locked into the challenges and successive developments that reflect upon national security and instability, creating a critical situation that needs to be addressed through a multi-dimensional, comprehensive strategic perspective, while maintaining the sovereignty, independence and unity of Arab territories and Arab solidarity.

Elaraby said while the Arab countries have been preoccupied with security issues, the region witnessed a geopolitical development that could not be ignored. He cited Iran’s nuclear agreement with the group of states known as the “5 +1 ” in Vienna in July 2015, which came into force in January this year.

The Arab League chief pointed out that the implications of this agreement for the Arab countries are multi-dimensional and not only confined to the technical dimension to ensure the exclusive peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, but also extended to many security and geopolitical dimensions, especially in light of increasing Iranian interference in the region.

He hailed the nuclear deal, noting, “The agreement is proof of the diplomatic ability to resolve differences by peaceful means and defuse the crisis temporarily through this programme, but the judgment will be based on the commitment of Iran to implement with good faith the provisions of the agreement, and the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency in determining the extent of this commitment.”

Further, he stressed that the Arab League monitored the reactions to the Iranian nuclear deal, which varied from rejecting and welcoming to cautious, pointing out that the concerns of the Arab states – which had been excluded from these consultations – were not about the nuclear deal itself, but about the security, political and economic implications of the deal.

Elaraby called upon Arab countries to adopt varied strategic options, noting that they have thorny issues with the Iranian side, notably the Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and the continued occupation of the three UAE islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.

The Secretary-General of the Arab League underscored that the main point in this regard is whether this agreement, in its entirety, conforms to the basic principles of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and whether the agreement emphasises the need for a world free of nuclear weapons. He added that, unfortunately, by studying the terms of the agreement, “we find out that the terms are phased obligations, and there are clauses that will be reviewed after a certain period of time.”