EU, Arab League agree to disagree over meeting statement

CAPTION CORRECTS NAME OF ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL TO AHMED ABOUL GHEIT European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini, centre, talks to Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, left, next to Sudan's Foreign Minister Mohamed Ahmed Al Dirdiri, right, while posing for a group photograph during an EU-Arab League ministerial meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, right, talks to Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, left, next to Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alkharim, second left, during an EU-Arab League ministerial meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, centre, talks to counterparts during an EU-Arab League ministerial meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

BRUSSELS — The European Union and Arab League say they agree on tackling conflicts in Syria and Yemen or stalled Middle East peace efforts but were unable to approve a joint statement at talks in Brussels.

The organizations' ministers were preparing Monday for a summit in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Feb 24-25.

Asked about the holdup, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said "common ground was there on 90-95 percent of issues."

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit pointed out that there were "more complications on the European side rather than the Arab side."

Mogherini replied: "I would say rather the contrary."

Hungary objects to migration provisions in the statement, but the Europeans also want to avoid being seated around a summit table with Syria or Sudan's leaders.

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