Ashrawi Plans to Decline Arab League Spokeswoman Position
Palestinian Parliament member Hanan Ashrawi intends to decline the Arab League's post of commissioner-spokeswoman, which she had been unofficially entrusted with a year ago, an Arab League official said Sunday.
Arab League chief Amr Mussa is expected to ask the two-day Arab summit starting Wednesday in Beirut to pass amendments to the general secretariat which will allow the naming of commissioners, the official said, according to AFP.
The motion is expected to be passed, as Arab countries have supported the initiative, the official added.
Ashrawi had been unofficially named commissioner-spokeswoman of the Arab League last year and her nomination was approved at an Arab ministerial meeting "because of an urgent need" for a spokesperson.
However, her nomination had not yet been approved officially at an Arab summit.
"Hanan Ashrawi, who had initially accepted the post with hesitation and following Mussa's insistence, does not intend to keep it because of the difficulties she is facing," a source close to Ashrawi told the News Agency.
"Being in (the West Bank town of) Ramallah, under the permanent threat of Israeli attacks and playing the role of spokesperson for the Arabs is an impossible mission for Mrs. Ashrawi," the source explained.
The Palestinian deputy has also decided not to attend the Arab summit, although she had been invited to the event as a commissioner, the source said.
The nomination of the two other commissioners are expected to be confirmed at the Beirut summit.
Meanwhile, former Jordanian Prime Minister Taher Masri, designated by Mussa in June 2001, will become commissioner for civil society issues while former Egyptian minister Ahmad Kamal Abu al-Majed will be sworn in as commissioner for cultural issues and for the dialogue of civilizations.
The summit is also expected to approve a 20 percent increase in the Arab League budget, a move that received backing from Arab foreign ministers in 2001. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)