Following intensive talks with Algerian President Houari Boumedienne. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt has been?
Following intensive talks with Algerian President Houari Boumedienne. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt has been calling for a conference between Arab and European countries to prepare the way for closer economic cooperation.
After his third round of talks with President Boumedienne yesterday (Saturday, 20 April), Herr Brandt said that an Arab-European conference should be held as soon as possible, once careful preparations had been made.
He described his discussions with the Algerian leader in enthusiastic terms. "A large amount of agreement was reached in very intensive and frank talks," he said. And though that third round of talks was due to be the last, a fourth and unscheduled meeting was arranged. "As far as relations between West Germany and Arab countries are concerned, a dialogue is now underway which we shall continue in Cairo," Herr Brandt told a news conference, just prior to flying off to Egypt for another official visit.
At the same news conference, Chancellor Brandt was prossed to predict a timetable for Arab-European talks. He agreed that there was a possibility that discussions could start before the end of the year. But this largely depended on the Common Market Council of Ministers, which had to decide the level of such a conference.
It has been reported that Algeria and other Arab states are seeking a dialogue that would lead european countries to play a greater political role in the Middle East, thus counter-balancing the influence of the United States and the Soviet Union.