Ashrawi Named Arab League Spokeswoman
The Arab League has named former Palestinian minister Hanan Ashrawi as its spokeswoman, the organization's Secretary General Amr Moussa said Wednesday.
Her job as commissioner for information will include "refuting and explaining to Arab and world opinion, particularly American and European, the challenges and distortions which the Palestinian cause is confronting," Moussa said after an overnight meeting with Ashrawi, said AFP.
Ashrawi, who is also a member of the Palestinian Legislation Council (PLC), will "deal on the media front with the challenges facing the Arab region, overshadowed by the falsifications produced by the Israeli and other media," Moussa added.
The post, a new one, has been created as part of a shake-up undertaken by Moussa following his appointment to head the pan-Arab organization in May.
Ashrawi, for her part, said: "My place will remain in Palestine, in Jerusalem," adding that she had accepted the post "out of responsibility for the nation."
"This post will increase the difficulties I am facing on the ground from the Israeli occupation forces," she said.
She said she had drawn up a strategy to create "an Arab language devoid of slogans" for statements to the media.
Her policy would be "to confront the networks of Israeli racism, expose the falsifications and correct the deforming of Arab affairs practiced by the Israeli, Western and American media," she said.
Ashrawi, 54, is known for her English fluency and ability to defend the Palestinian cause before the Western media.
Her appointment responds to the desire of Arab countries to "counter Israeli propaganda," as expressed at a meeting of Arab information ministers in Beirut last month, said AFP.
Ashrawi, 54, sprang to prominence as spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid peace talks between Israel and its Arab neighbors from 1991 to 1993.
But she has had an ambivalent and at times uneasy relationship with the official Palestinian leadership surrounding Yasser Arafat, and resigned from his cabinet in August 1998.
On Tuesday, former Jordanian prime minister and current Senator Tahir Al Masri said Moussa had initially agreed to make him the league’s general commissioner for civil society.
Masri said that contacts were currently underway with Moussa concerning this issue. He added that the idea to appoint him came under the framework of "a complete structural reform plan of the Arab League." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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