Egypt renews backing to Morocco's territorial integrity
Egypt-Morocco, Politics, 3/15/1999
Egypt renewed backing to Morocco's territorial integrity. "Egypt has always backed Morocco's efforts to perfect its territorial integrity," Egyptian deputy minister of foreign affairs, Jamal-Eddine Bayoumi told Moroccan Al-Mounaataf daily. Bayoumi also stressed the need for Morocco and Egypt to consolidate trade exchanges among Arab states through dismantling customs barriers pending the establishment of an Arab-Mediterranean common market.
Relatedly, Egyptian Gazette newspaper reported that Egypt is stepping up efforts for the establishment of a Pan-Arab free trade zone by the year 2007.
The paper quoted minister of trade and supply Ahmed Goweili as saying that Egypt is currently negotiating with Saudi Arabia a deal to set up a joint free trade zone and that similar negotiations are underway with Libya as a primary step to promote trade with Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
Arab states have been cherishing the dream of setting up an Arab common market since the 1950's. An Arab summit in 1996 called for speeding up the creation of such a market.
At the end of 1997, the Arab League launched a regional free trade program which is considered as a key step in this regard. Eighteen Arab countries have agreed to join the program.
As a prelude to the market, which is scheduled to take shape by 2007, moves for the establishment of bilateral free trade areas started among Arab states.
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