Islamic leaders meet to boost economic, trade cooperation Monday Nov. 9th
Islamic leaders meet to boost economic, trade cooperation
November 09, 2009
ISTANBUL: His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is to attend the economic summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries' leaders due to be held here today. His delegation includes Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Development and Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali, the Amir's Office Chief Ahmad Al-Fahad, Amiri Diwan Advisors Yusif Al-Ibrahim and Mohammad Abu Al-Hassan, Amiri Protocol Chief Sheikh Khalid Al-Sabah and several other senior officials.
Some 48 Arab and Islamic countries, in addition to Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Cyprus as observers, are to be participating in the summit. OIC leaders are flowing to Istanbul to take part in the gathering, which will be mainly addressed by Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
During their gathering, the OIC leaders will mull over ways and means of further promoting and bolstering economic and trade cooperation, poverty reduction, inter-OIC economic, technical and financial cooperation, among others.
They will also discuss the negative impacts of the food and financial crises on Muslim nations, together with energy, recession, climate change and global economic developments. The gathering is hoped to help deepen cooperative relations between Turkey and Arab and Muslim countries.
Also to be reviewed are the outcomes of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Kuwait in January 2009. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are scheduled to attend the event.
The Amir and his accompanying delegation were seen off at the airport yesterday by His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, senior Sheikhs, Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, along with a host of senior state officials.
Meanwhile, Kuwait submitted yesterday a work paper on food security at the 25th conference of the Permanent Committee of Social and Economic Cooperation which started its functions here at the level of ministers from Arab and Islamic states.
Heading the Kuwaiti delegation to the conference is the minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali said that Kuwait's paper deals with the impact of the world food crisis on the economies of member states of the OIC.
Reviewing the salient issues in the paper, he said the latter acknowledges that there are food shortages and rising food prices affecting not only poor countries but also developing ones. Realizing that fully, Kuwait, he said, supports monetarily and otherwise many international organizations whose major task is to fight poverty and help the poor develop water and food resources.
In an opening speech to the conference, Turkish president Abdulla Gul went over a number of regional issues, among them the Middle East conflict, the situation in Pakistan, and Turkish-Iranian relations. He also talked about the impact of the global economic crisis on OIC countries, noting that the crisis will gradually diminish in 2010 and economies in these countries will be on the rebound sooner that previously thought.
On the Arab-Israeli conflict, he said the best tack to follow was through dialogue and efforts to reduce tension. With regard to his country's ties with Iran, he said they were predicated on the principle of non-interference into each other's domestic affairs. Moreover Gull called on the international community to support Pakistan as it goes head-to-head with terrorists who have lately stepped up their activities in that country.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC secretary general, in a similar speech to the conference, urged member states to reduce the cost of doing business in their markets and to upgrade their financial institutions and revamp the basis of their economies as much as possible under the current global circumstances. To end on Nov.9, the conference will conclude its activities on that date with a summit for heads of state of OIC members who will assess the work done by COMSEC over the past 25 year period.
They will be expected to go over means of closer economic and trade ties among their countries and policies aimed at reducing poverty, increasing investments, improving bank operations, and speeding up recovery plans from the recent global economic jolt. --- KUNA