Saturday, February 28, 2004

Arab League reform

The Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo officially begins on Monday ... but they've spent the weekend engaged in informal talks in preparation for the March 29-30 Tunis summit. On the Tunis agenda ... reform.
[The Arab League's deputy secretary general, Nureddin Hashed] He told AFP that the upcoming [Tunis] summit would be "a chance for Arab leaders to announce the creation of a 'New Arab League' by adopting a plan to reform and modernise the organisation".

... "Tunis will be the last chance for Arabs to show that they are still able to define common policy and take the initiative over restructuring projects of the 'Greater Middle East' [Washington's democratization policy]," a senior Arab diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

... Most League members want minimal reform, but Yemen and Libya, which are to put forward their own proposal, have called for a complete remodelling based on the European Union or the African Union.
Arabic News, quoting unnamed sources, reports that League members are really late paying their dues and that the League's secretary general, Amr Moussa, has not been paid for three months.