Daily Israel Report

Nabil Al-Araby, 75, is New Head of Arab League

The man who helped unseat former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak - Nabil Al-Araby -- has just become the new point man for the Arab world.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/4/2011, 5:29 PM / Last Update: 7/4/2011, 6:23 PM

The man who helped unseat former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and subsequently served as foreign minister has now become the new point man for the Arab world.

Nabil Al-Araby, 75, took office Sunday after having been elected secretary-general of the Cairo-based Arab League by the body's membership in May.

The former Egyptian foreign minister succeeded Amr Moussa, running as a presidential candidate in upcoming Egyptian national elections after protesters toppled Mubarak's 31-year-long regime in February.

In his first media interview since taking on his new role, Al-Araby described his future plans to the state-run Al-Ahram news agency.

Among the items on his agenda are a probe into human rights abuses by Libyan government forces, and an attempt to persuade Syria to take on reforms and transition to democracy.

Acknowledging that deep changes have taken place in the region, Al-Araby also expressed his believe that an independent Palestinian state should be recognized. He added that Israelis should withdraw from Palestinian Authority territory.

From 2001 to 2006, Al-Araby served as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He also served as the Egyptian representative to the United Nations in New York from 1991 to 1999, and as its ambassador to India, according to the official Egyptian State Information Service.

A less-than-cordial neighbor to Israel, Al-Araby was behind the recent push by Egypt to retroactively hike the price paid by the Jewish State for its gas since 2008.