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10-12-2010, 06:49 AM
Libya: Arab-African summit calls for regional cooperation, security


SIRTE, (Xinhua): More than 60 Arab and African leaders attending the second Arab-African summit in Libyan city Sirte called for promoting regional cooperation in fields of energy cooperation, water resources, infrastructure investment, food security, agriculture cooperation and trade.

The leaders discussed key regional issues, particularly in Sudan, Yemen and Somali, vowing to tackle threats of nuclear weapons, terrorism and organized crimes.

The summit adopted cooperation agreements including Africa- Arab Partnership Strategy, Joint Action Plan 2011-2016 and the Resolution for the Establishment of the Joint Africa-Arab Fund for Disaster Response.

The leaders vowed to assist Arab and African countries, particularly the least developed ones, through the partnership strategy to accelerate their process of sustainable development and achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the mutual cooperation, within the framework of Arab League (AL) and African Union (AU), should be ranked as the priority.

Mubarak noted the African and Arab countries need to work together to address the common challenges, including food crisis, climate change, energy price fluctuations, economic environment deteriorating for developing countries and bloody clashes in some regions.

The Libyan leader Gaddaffi, who hosted the summit, stressed the natural links of the Africans and Arabs in history, religion, geography and races, calling for establishing a more closed Arab- African community. "We are forced to be united. No single countries can face the challenges alone," he said.

He promised that Libya would invest about 90 billion U.S. dollars to the African countries through Libyan banks.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda told Xinhua the summit has laid foundation for the unique Arab-African cooperation.

Chad President Idriss Deby Itno noted the Arab countries support Sudanese peace process. Hailing Africa as the "continent of future," he called for Arab investment to the African continent to achieve close cooperation.

The summit issued Sirte Declaration to reaffirm the commitment to promoting African-Arab relations, boosting cooperation and establishing a strategic partnership.

The declaration also expressed Arab and African leaders' stance on the regional and international issues with mutual concerns and interests, including Sudanese peace process and the Palestinian cause.

The second Arab-African summit was organized by the AL and the AU after the suspension of 33 years. The first session was held in Cairo in 1977.