By Nigel Ash
Tripoli, 26 March 2013:
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his officials appear to have had a busy first day today . . .[restrict]at the Arab League Summit in the Qatari capital Doha, with League members calling for other Arab countries to cooperate with the Libyan government in the recovery of looted funds and the extradition of those accused of wrong doing during the Qaddafi regime.
Though much of the day was focused on Syria and the assumption of that country’s League seat by the Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib, the meeting also found time to affirm that it supported Libyan government efforts to achieve national reconciliation, to build state institutions and to reverse the economic, social and humanitarian damage caused in the Qaddafi years.
Members also upheld Libya’s sovereignty, independence and integrity and rejected any form of foreign interference in its internal affairs, with the intent of destabilising the country.
On the sidelines of the summit, Libya officials reportedly had a series of meetings with other delegations, including tripartite talks with Egypt and Sudan, in which it was agreed that more work would be done on security and economic cooperation.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, the closing day of the summit will see a session devoted to the machinery of the Arab League itself. At Sunday’s preliminary meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Doha, Libya’s Mohamed Abdulaziz said that the League was in urgent need of reform and modernisation. His argument, reportedly shared by a number of other member states, is that the organisation must review its structures and procedures, so that it can respond effectively and nimbly to the political, economic and social challenges that face the Arab world.