In Egypt, Arab economic and finance ministers have been meeting to consider proposals for increased economic cooperation between their countries.
GV: flag flying outside Arab League building.
SV: Mahmoud Riad (left) talking to Mr. Mahmoud Tourki, deputy economic minister of Saudi Arabia.
SV: ministers seated at table. (7 shots)
SV: Mahmoud Riad speaking in Arabic.
Mr Riad the meeting that cooperation was necessary to fight back against a planned 'economic invasion' of the Arab world by Israel. He claimed that Israel wanted to control the Arab economy by taking advantage of its superior technology. "The Arab countries", he said, "must firmly resist this invasion".
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Background: In Egypt, Arab economic and finance ministers have been meeting to consider proposals for increased economic cooperation between their countries. The Arab League has suggested that its 22 member states should hold a summit meeting to work out a strategy for cooperation.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting began at Arab League Headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday (20 September) and it was opened by the league's secretary general, Mahmoud Riad, seen here on the left talking to Mahmoud Tourki, Saudi Arabia's deputy economics minister.
One of the main items on the agenda was 'food security' in the Arab world. The ministers were planning to discuss ways of increasing food production, a vital issue because a Saudi Arabian report has shown that one third of the land in the Arab world suitable for agriculture is uncultivated. The report added that 78 percent of the cultivated land depends on rain for irrigation, rather than artificial methods, and it wasn't producing enough to feed 140 million Arabs. Self-sufficiency for the Arab countries was strongly recommended.
Another topic under discussion was the establishment of an Arab monetary market. Last December the league's economic council approved the idea in principle and called for further study by Arab central banks. Those studies suggested a first step of encouraging investments among member nations and helping to consolidate the activities of the Arab banks. That stage could be followed by the money market itself.