Home Muslim World News Arab, South American Foreign Ministers hold two-day meeting

Arab, South American Foreign Ministers hold two-day meeting


Buenos Aires : Arab foreign ministers will start a joint two-day meeting with their South American counterparts in the Argentinean Capital Wednesday to discuss, among other things, preparations for the upcoming summit of the two regions scheduled to be held in Qatar.

High level officials from Arab countries held preparatory meetings with their South American counterparts ahead of the foreign ministerial meetings to finalize what has been called “Buenos Aires declaration”, a paper that will set future biregional cooperation in the political, economic, and cultural areas.

Sources at the meeting said the date of the next summit is yet to be finalized, awaiting the foreign ministers’ decision, as Doha will host the next summit instead of Morocco, which was originally chosen to host the next summit.

The two regions launched their first joint summit in Brazil in 2005, and agreed to hold regular ministerial meetings and regular summits with the aim of exploring joint future cooperation and to set the tone for closer coordination on a number of political, economic, and cultural issues.

Since the 2005 “Brasilia Summit”, 12 joint meetings have been held, with five ministerial meetings on economy, culture, environment, and social affairs and five other meetings of high level officials.

According to a yet-to-be-finalized draft copy of the Buenos Airs declaration, the two sides expressed satisfaction with the level of coordination made between the two regions so far to enforce the Brasilia Summit decisions.

“The foreign Ministers of the two regions congratulate themselves on the intensification in the dialogue between the two regions since the Brasilia Summit. This not only allowed the regions to meet the schedule fixed in the Declaration of Brasilia, but also is to increase the possibilities for bioregional cooperation.

“They are convinced that it is essential to establish a dynamic and intense relationship in order to turn both regions into privileged negotiators for each other,” said the draft copy of the declaration.

Before heading to Argentine, Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa said the Buenos Airs Declaration is expected to prepare the ground for cooperation between the Arab world and South American states.

Moussa added the preliminary meeting is expected to “enrich dialogue between Arab and South American states.” While agreeing to strengthen cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, conference sources said there remain other issues, mainly political matters, that need to be discussed further and endorsed by the foreign ministers, especially issues related to Middle East peace, Iran, and other related issues.

The South American continent, home of large Arab communities, has been eager to increase trade and investment with the Arab world, and the Buenos Aires Declaration said that since the launch of the Brasilia summit, trade level between the two regions witnessed “substantial growth.” “While they are glad to see substantial growth in overall trade, they invite the countries of both regions to study the possibility of reducing their trade barriers in order to promote and increase commercial exchange and achieve greater integration, reflective of their regional and multilateral components.

“They consider it necessary for the promotion of trade between the two regions to carry out initiatives in order to incorporate added value and technological components into the relationship, for the benefit of their respective populations,” the draft declaration said.

Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah is expected to arrive here to head his country’s delegation at the meetings.