South Sudan denies applying for Arab League membership

(JUBA) – South Sudan has not officially submitted an application to join the Arab League, but requested to be an observer member, Mawien Makol, the foreign affairs ministry’s spokesperson has clarified.

The Egyptian Middle East news agency (MENA) earlier reported that South Sudan has formally applied to join the League of Arab state.

“The application will be presented to the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers in its 149th session at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League (in Cairo) on Wednesday,” MENA reported, while quoting unnamed diplomatic source.

But Makol said the war-torn nation has not officially submitted application to the bloc

“We have not applied to join the Arab League and what we requested for was to be an observer member,” he told Eye Radio Saturday.

The League of Arab States or the Arab League is a voluntary association of countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic speaking or where Arabic is an official language.

Its aims are to strengthen ties among member states, coordinate their policies and direct them towards a common good. The bloc presently has 22 members, including Palestine, which the League regards as an independent state.

The highest body of the league is the Council, composed of representatives of member states, usually foreign ministers, their representatives or permanent delegates. The Council meets twice a year, in March and September, and may convene a special session at the request of two members.

The idea of the Arab League was mooted in 1942 by the British, who reportedly wanted to rally Arab countries against the Axis powers. However, the league did not take off until March 1945, just before end of World War II.

First published by (ST)

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