In 2001 she was appointed minister of state for foreign affairs for the international cooperation portfolio (2001-2004). She thus became the first woman to hold such a position in Egypt as well as in the Arab world. Prior to joining the government, she held several posts at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 1999 and 2001, she held the post of permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, in addition to posts at the World Trade Organization, the Disarmament Conference and other international organizations. She was also special political assistant to the secretary general of the United Nations, Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghaly, from 1992 to 1996.
In 2004 she became minister of international cooperation and was charged with strengthening Egypt's economic and technical cooperation with all countries of the world, directing and coordinating foreign aid and maximizing its benefits, and managing Egypt's external debt policy.
Throughout the years, Abul Naga held various official assignments. She was the chairwoman of the National Committee for Demining and the Development of the northwest coast of Egypt since 2002. She was appointed as a member of many ministerial groups and committees concerned with policy formulations on economic planning, foreign debt management, investment, employment and human resources development, including the Economic Ministerial Group, the Higher Council for Planning, the Higher Ministerial Committee for the River Nile Water, the board of directors of the Social Development Fund, the Educational Development Fund, the Eminent Persons Consultative Committee of the International Organization for Intellectual Property Rights, and the Higher Council for the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. In 2008, she was a member of the Higher Council of Science and Technology. She was also selected as a member of the board of trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and chairs the Friends of Siwa Committee for the Protection and Preservation of Egypt’s Oases.