Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said Sunday he would not seek a second term as secretary general of the pan-Arab body after his present term ends in July.
Arabi, 80, took over as League chief from fellow Egyptian diplomat Amr Moussa in 2011.
He had served as foreign minister in the Egyptian government that came to power after the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak earlier that year.
“I have asked the Egyptian government not to think about renewing my mandate,” Arabi told reporters at the League’s headquarters in Cairo, adding that his present tenure would end in early July.
Traditionally, the secretary general of Arab League has held the post for two terms, and Cairo has always insisted that it be held by an Egyptian diplomat.
Since becoming secretary general, Arabi has had to manage a number of sensitive issues, including the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as the rise of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Egypt said on Sunday that it is set to nominate a “prestigious figure” for the position of secretary-general of the Arab League to succeed current chief Nabil al-Arabi.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abo Zeid said that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has presented to Arab kings and leaders an Egyptian nominee who boasts diplomatic experience.
“High-level consultations are currently taking place to gain Arab support for the Egyptian nominee,” he added.
“The name of the Egyptian candidate will be announced in the coming days following the completion of necessary consultations.”
He expressed his hope that the nominee receives the necessary support in order to “achieve Arab solidarity and protect Arab national security in facing the current major challenges.”
The statements came following al-Arabi’s announcement on Sunday that he will not seek a second term after his current one ends .
According to diplomats , Ahmed Aboul-Gheit , a retired Egyptian diplomat who was the Foreign Minister of Egypt from 11 July 2004 to 6 March 2011 is the candidate that president Sisi is proposing.
Aboul-Gheit also previously served as Egypt’s ambassador to the United Nations. In December 2005 . He was succeeded by al-Arabi in March 2011, following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.