Ahmed Ben Helli- photo courtesy of Hossam Zaki's Facebook page
CAIRO – 10 July 2017: Algerian columnist Ahmed Ben Helli was the second person to be Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League and the only person whose term in this post was renewed.
Ben Helli passed away at the age of 77 on Sunday in Canada, after having held several diplomatic posts, starting with his post as the Algerian Ambassador to Sudan in 1992 and ending with his post as the Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League from 2009 to 2017.
The official entered the Arab League for the first time in 1994 when he was appointed as the Adviser to the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, and then he was promoted in 1997 to be the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and head of the League’s Council administration until 2008.
Ben Helli was born in August 1940 and achieved a bachelor's degree in journalism from Cairo University. His first post was related to press, as he was the head of the National Press Division of the Press and Information Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria in 1971.
He had participated in addressing a number of Arab and African conflicts in many Arab and international conferences and seminars and further published several articles dealing with cultural and social life in Algeria, as well as studies and research on Arab and African issues.
Ben Helli also ran other posts in embassies. He was Minister of Political Affairs at the Algerian Embassy in Tunis in 1984, and prior to this, he was Counsellor for Economic Affairs at the Algerian Embassy in Cairo in 1976.
The diplomat had made several statements regarding the Syrian crisis, in which he was always asserting the League’s rejections for the attempts to divide Syria.
His long journey from press to the Arab League did not hinder him from making a family and having children.