New Arab League head likely to take a tough line against Israel.

May 17, 2011

Nabeel Al Arabi who was appointed secretary-general of the Arab League on Sunday is likely to take a tough line against Israel.

Last month, he said that Egypt would demand that Israel pay up the actual price for gas it purchased during the Hosni Mubarak era at reduced prices. “We will honour everything we signed on and we will demand that they uphold it too,” he told Dream TV channel.

Considered hostile towards Israel, Al Arabi is the first official to suggest the possibility that Egypt may demand retroactive payments from Israel for the long-term gas supplies.

The Camp David Accords do not include a clause on selling gas and oil to Israel for a reduced price, and that those who had interpreted it that way were “wrong” or “wanted to interpret it that way”, he had reportedly said.

According to media reports, Al Arabi, who was appointed foreign minister in March, has also been outspoken about the list of problems that plague the Egyptian government, including a lack of separation of powers, a lack of transparency and a lack of judicial independence.


  • Nabeel Al Arabi who was appointed secretary-general of the Arab League on May 15 is the oldest official to take up the post. He celebrated his 76th anniversary one month ago.
  • Before his nomination, Al Arabi was the foreign minister of Egypt in Essam Sharaf’s post-revolution cabinet.
  • He holds degrees from New York University School of Law and a License en Droit, Faculty of Law, Cairo University (1955).
  • He was a judge in the Judicial Tribunal of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1990, a member of the International Law Commission of the UN (1994-2004), and a commissioner at the UN Compensation Commission in Geneva 1999-2001.
  • He was a judge at the International Court of Justice until February 2006.
  • Since December 2008 he has been serving as the Director of the Regional Cairo Centre for International Commercial Arbitration and as a counsel of the Sudanese government in the ‘Abyei Boundary’ Arbitration with the Sudanese People’s Revolutionary Movement.


About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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