Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit during his participation at the WYF's International Peace and Security: Current Challenges session on December 15, 2019.
CAIRO – 15 December 2019: Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday rejected referring to a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s as “The Arab Spring.”
During his participation at the third edition of the World Youth Forum in South Sinai’s Sharm El Sheikh, Aboul Gheit interrupted presenter Amr Abdel Hamid as he mentioned millions of displacement cases as one of the repercussions of the so-called “Arab Spring.”
“It should not be called a spring!” the Arab League Secretary-General immediately interrupted Abdel Hamid.
Aboul Gheit deprecated to describe the events as a “spring” as it resulted in the death of around 500,000 Syrian people, expulsion of four to five million Syrians from their country, displacement of six million Syrians, the destruction of Libya, and Iraqi cities, and the return of cholera and poliomyelitis to Yemen.
“This should not be called a spring, and I am responsible for my words,” Aboul Geit added amid applause.
Prime Minister Sameh Shoukri also said that the revolutions and their repercussions had significantly affected international peace and security. He affirmed that change happened in an unorganized way and caused the national states to fail to achieve internal security and provide services to citizens.
These incidents resulted in internal conflicts in states like Syria, Yemen and Libya, Shoukry said, adding that such conflicts allowed terrorist groups to get funds and expand their operations through exploiting the international situation of these countries.
The forum kicked off on Saturday in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, with the participation of around 7,000 attendees from around the world, according to state’s news agency MENA.
A number of senior officials attended the “International Peace and Security: Current Challenges” session, including Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen and Paul Bekkers, director of the Office of the Secretary General at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).