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Egypt FM Nabil Al-Arabi named Arab League chief

May 15, 2011 7:59 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2011 8:39 P.M.)
CAIRO (AFP) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Al-Arabi was unanimously elected Arab League chief on Sunday, an AFP correspondent at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo said.

Arabi stood up to salute the delegates who gave him a standing ovation after Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi, who chaired the session, presented him as the new secretary general.

In a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas last week, Al-Arabi called the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo a "core step" to show that Palestinians were united to gain independence. He also said Palestinians were within their rights to make a declaration of independence because Israel was established in 1948 based on decision taken by the UN General Assembly in 1947.

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