Moussa Ben Alawi probe peace process, situation in Gulf
Egypt-Oman, Politics, 3/14/2001
Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs reviewed yesterday a number of regional and international issues including the peace process in the Middle East and the situation in the Gulf area.
Moussa and Ben Alawi signed at the end of a session of talks Tuesday morning a minutes of the meeting of the Egyptian-Omani higher committee.
During the session, the two ministers resumed their talks held over the past couple of days on the fringe of the Arab League Council meeting.
The talks dealt with the outcome of the Arab foreign ministers council meeting wound up Monday evening and preparations for the coming Arab summit to be held in Amman late in March.
Discussions also touched on a number of regional and international issues of joint interest mainly the latest developments of the Middle East peace process and the situation in Iraq and the Gulf region.
They also discussed Egyptian-Omani relations in the light of distinguished relations between President Hosni Mubarak and Sultan Qaboos.
Moussa, at a press conference jointly given with Ben Alawi at signing the minutes of the Egyptian-Omani committee, said they had consultations on a number of issues of interest to both states within the framework of the Arab world.
He referred to President Hosni Mubarak's recent visit to Oman and his talks with sultan qaboos on Arab world future and preparations for the coming Arab summit.
On his part, Ben Alawi said that the joint Arab action faces some crises, adding that he believes that there is a strong Arab will to find a way out of this crisis.
"Continuing consultations is the way out of the present crisis," he said.
He described Amman summit as " a strong, major and important step" as regards specific issues including the struggle of the Palestinian people.
As for the Iraqi issue, he said that lifting the embargo imposed on Iraq and alleviating the Iraqi people's suffering is an Arab demand.
Moussa said that the joint committees are not focusing only on trade exchange but rather on organization of relations in several fields between the two countries.
Ben Alawi noted that the minutes of the committee's final meeting included a number of agreements like the one pertaining to an executive program on cooperation between the private sectors and businessmen in both countries.
"The Egyptian-Omani cooperation converse the fields of education and agriculture," said the Omani minister, adding that there is an Egyptian orientation to open trade centers in the sultanate of Oman, comprising in the first stage three trade centers.
On the differences among Arab delegations on how to tackle the Iraqi issue and whether this threatens emergence of problems in the upcoming Arab summit, Moussa described this as secondary issue.
The important thing is that the summit has key problems to discuss, Moussa noted.
On the trilateral Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian summit in Damascus, the foreign minister said that this summit falls mainly within the celebrations marking the Arab power linkage grid project.
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