Sharif and Qabshi on the Greater criticize the Greater ME initiative
Egypt-USA, Politics, 4/7/2004
Egyptian Information Minister Safwat al-Sharif criticized the American initiative on the so-called Greater Middle East initiative, saying it didn't address the region's real problems, particularly Israeli occupation of Arab lands and lacked linking between reforms and finding just solutions to chronic problems.
Sharif, who met Tuesday a visiting German parliamentary delegation, said such an initiative and other foreign ideas on reforms in the region could affect Arab nation's cultural and civilized peculiarity as they sought to integrate the nation within a wide-scale area of contrasting cultures and heritages.
The Egyptian official emphasized that any notions on reforms in the Arab world should come from within this very region in line with its culture and civilization. He pointed out that the Arab World had already been involved in the process of reforms long before similar steps were taken on the international arena. Meanwhile, Rimon Qabshi, Advisor to the Venezuelan President for Arab Affairs, said the Greater Middle East initiative endorsed Zionist presence in the region and sought to deform and distort Arab identity and heritage and to tighten the U.S. grip on the area as well.
In an interview published Tuesday by the Saudi Arabian daily newspaper of 'Riyadh', Qabshi added that the U.S. exploited everything to extend the scope of its hegemony and domination on the whole world.
The Venezuelan official said Washington accused Arab governments of sponsoring terrorism as a pretext to impose its hegemony on the region.
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