INTRODUCTION Foreign ministers form more than 60 Arab and African countries gathered in Cairo on Thursday (3 March) to prepare for an Afro-arab summit in the Egyptian capital.
INTRODUCTION Foreign ministers form more than 60 Arab and African countries gathered in Cairo on Thursday (3 March) to prepare for an Afro-arab summit in the Egyptian capital. The summit's designed to build a powerful alliance of oil and raw materials exports.
SYNOPSIS: The ministers met to decide on the agenda for the summit -- the first held by, theoretically the strongest third world front yet formed. The agenda is to include two declarations -- one political and the other economic -- which will serve as the cornerstone for Afro-Arab co-operation in various fields. But there are many differences within and between the two groups to be settled before the countries, which include most of the world's exporters of oil and raw materials, can agree on joint plans of action.
Many African states believe the oil-rich Arab states have not offered adequate assistance as thanks for Africa's almost unanimous decision to severe relations with Israel after the 1973 Middle East War. A compromise on aid must now be worded out by the ministers. Africa has requested two billion U.S. dollars and the arabs have offered 500 million.
Egypt's Foreign Minister, Ismail Fahmi, opened Thursday's meeting. He said the Arab and African peoples possessed human and material resources which could lead to integration in production and consumption for the benefit of more than 300 million people.
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity, William Eteki Mbouema, was one of the african delegates who addressed the opening session. African nations called on the Arab world to look beyond economic considerations and have the political will to take firm action to help Africa develop its resources.