African and Arab delegates ended a two-day conference in Cairo on Wednesday (23 January). They?
African and Arab delegates ended a two-day conference in Cairo on Wednesday (23 January). They were meeting to discuss economic cooperation and the establishment of an Arab fund to aid African development. The subject of oil was high on the agenda for the delegates meeting at the Arab League Headquarters.
Arab oil supplies will continue to black Africa, provided they do not reach countries affected by the Arab oil embargo. The announcement came from the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Mr. Mahmoud Riad, who stressed that none of the supplies, amounting to about 12 million tons a year should be re-exported.
The Arab Ministers also called for the speedy establishment of an Arab Bank to finance economic development in Africa. They will recommend that their governments set up a fund with 80 million pounds sterling (200 million U.S. dollars) capital to provide loans needed by the African countries. They hope the fund will be established by the end of March.
The African nations were represented by a seven-man delegation, led by Mr. Nze Ekangaki, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of african Unity. Earlier, Mr. Ekangaki had told the Arab League Ministers that the poorer countries of Africa could not afford higher fuel prices. There was, he said "serious anxiety" about the fate of already fragile African economies.
Almost all the O.A.U. member-nations have broken off diplomatic relations with Israel, demanding a withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied Arab territories.
SYNOPSIS: The Africans had expressed fears over the impact of increased fuel prices on poorer nations. But, they were assured that supplies would continue - provided that the oil was not re-experted, reaching countries affected by the Arab embargo.
The Arab Ministers are to recommend to their governments the establishment of an sighty-million-pound fund to provide loans to African countries. They also called for the setting-up of an Arab Bank to finance economic development in Africa. Nearly all the member-nations of the OUA have broken off diplomatic relations with Israel, calling for a complete withdrawal from occupied Arab lands.
The two-day meeting was the first such Arab-African conference. Arab Finance Ministers will meet to ratify the economic agreements in February.