Arab League elects Egyptian foreign minister as new head

May 16th, 2011 - 10:14 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, May 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Arab League has elected Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby as its new secretary general, Egypt’s Nile News TV channel said Sunday.

Elaraby, 76, replaces Amr Moussa, 73, who is running for the post of Egyptian president after a decade as Arab League head.

Initially, Egypt nominated a former member of the party of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in February in a popular uprising.

Elarabi, who backed the anti-Mubarak uprising, was nominated for the Arab League top spot just hours before the vote.

Qatar, the only other member of the 22-member organisation to put forward a candidate, withdrew its nominee after the change of Egyptian candidates.

Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said his country withdrew its candidate, diplomat Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, “in appreciation of Egypt and the revolution of Jan 25″.

“Now Egypt’s candidate is Qatar’s candidate and the candidate of all the Arabs,” Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said.

The post is traditionally held by a candidate from Egypt, the biggest country in the Arab world and the host-nation of the Arab League’s headquarters.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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