Egypt's foreign minister named Arab League chief

76-year-old El-Arabi replaces Amr Moussa, 73, who is running for the post of Egyptian president after leading Arab League for a decade.

El-Arabi, who backed the uprising against longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was chosen by consensus yesterday after Qatar withdrew its choice Abdel-Rahman al-Attiyah for the top post.

Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said his country withdrew its candidate, diplomat Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, "in appreciation of Egypt and the revolution of January 25."

The choice of El-Arabi went into effect and became final after Egypt received the OKs of the Arab heads of state and the foreign ministers.

Earlier, Egypt had nominated Mustafa al-Fiqi, head of the foreign affairs committee at the Egyptian parliament before it was dissolved.

The nomination was crticized by many people who described al-Fiqi as a cornerstone of the old regime and hence should have been toppled with the regime when it fell after 25 January revolution.

Egypt then withdrew the nomination of Al-Fiqi and presented the name of El-Arabi.
Once the selection was made the social media was abuzz with congratulations for Egyptians on embarking into a new era.

The post is traditionally held by a candidate from Egypt, the biggest country in the 22-member group and the host-nation of Arab League's headquarters.

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