Arab FMs meet as Egypt calls to cooperate conditionally with US reform plan
The works of the non-ordinary session of the Arab League council started on Monday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on the level of foreign ministers.
The two-days session precedes the works of the 121 ordinary session which will be held next Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, Egypt proposed to fellow Arab states that they cooperate conditionally with "friendly countries" in order to reform their political systems, ahead of an American mission to promote a plan called the "Greater Middle East Initiative".
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher submitted the proposal to his Arab counterparts at Monday's meeting, Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) said.
The proposal urges Arab nations to proclaim "their determination to pursue the process of reform and modernization," on condition that such reforms respect the traditions and "specific characters" of the individual states.
It states that Arab states are ready "to cooperate with friendly countries which are prepared to deal with the Arab initiative on the basis of complete equality and not to try to impose pre-conceived models."
The draft stresses that "in order to create a climate favorable to the success of the reform process..it is vital to...settle the Palestinian question by ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state."
The US administration says the initiative aims to encourage democratic reform and economic opening in the Arab world and other Muslim countries. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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