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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Damascus Declaration for 20th Arab summit 2008-03-31 06:26:21  

    DAMASCUS, March 30 (Xinhua) --

The 20th Arab summit concluded its deliberations on Sunday by issuing the Damascus Declaration on Arab solidarity, national security and revitalizing the mechanisms of the joint Arab action.

    The declaration, read by Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa in a press conference, highlights the following topics:

    -- Commitment to bolstering Arab solidarity to protect Arab national security, and guarantee for each Arab country safety, sovereignty, the right to defend itself and noninterference in its internal affairs, in addition to implementing the resolutions of Arab Summits and Arab joint work organizations, improving the role of the Arab League and supporting its efforts to develop the Arab work system.

    -- Working to surpass inter-Arab disputes through deep, serious dialogue and overcoming weaknesses in some aspects of Arab joint action.

    -- Giving priority to the higher interests of the Arab nation over any arguments or disputes, and dealing firmly with any foreign interference that attempts to increase inter-Arab disputes.

    -- Standing together in the face of economic and political pressure campaigns imposed by some countries on any Arab country and taking necessary steps to confront them.

    -- Unified Arab stance towards issues presented in international conferences.

    -- Giving the Arabic language special care, so that it may keep up with scientific developments in the age of globalization and information and become a means to face attempts of defamation and westernization facing the Arab culture.

    -- Achieving stronger cooperation in light of joint responsibility to support Arab economic integration projects, leading to the Arab Common Market, in addition to working to guarantee the success of the Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit which will be held in Kuwait in 2009.

    The declaration also vows to deal with challenges facing the Arab nation as follows:

    -- Continuing to provide all types of political, material and moral support to the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli occupation and its hostile policies and practices, affirming the unity of rank among the Palestinians.

    -- Warning against the excessive Israeli policies of laying siege and intensifying attacks, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and treating them as war crimes that require immediate action, demanding Israel to immediately cease these hostile practices against civilians.

    -- Working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East according to relevant decisions of international legitimacy, the "land-for-peace" formula, and the Madrid term of reference to guarantee the restoration of the Arab legitimate rights, including the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

    -- Affirming that the Arab side's continuation to propose the Arab Peace Initiative is linked to Israeli start of carrying out its commitments within the framework of international references for peace.

    -- Making thorough evaluation and revision of the Arab strategy regarding the efforts for reviving the peace process in order to decide on the next Arab move in light of this evaluation.

    -- Expressing support and appreciation for the Yemeni initiative for achieving Palestinian national reconciliation, affirming the Palestinian unity of rank and the integrity of Palestine's land and people, in addition to continuing Arab efforts and coordination with AL chief Moussa to achieve this goal.

    -- Keeping Iraq's territorial integrity and unity of its people, Arab and Islamic identity, necessity of overall national reconciliation, quick ending of the foreign presence, guaranteeing the country's stability, security and full sovereignty, while calling on the brothers in Iraq to immediately stop blood shedding and adopt dialogues to end differences to reach consensus and national unity.

    -- Commitment to the Arab initiative to help Lebanon get out of its crisis, supporting underway efforts by the AL to encourage the Lebanese parties to reach consensus among themselves to cope with this crisis to preserve the country's unity, stability and prosperity.

    -- Stressing Arab solidarity with Syria over the so-called Syria Accountability Act as a violation of the international law principles and the UN resolutions.

    -- Encouraging the under way contacts between the United Arab Emirates and Iran to solve the issue of three disputed islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa through legal procedures and peaceful means.

    -- Stressing Sudan's territorial integrity and stability, rejection of foreign intervention in its internal affairs, supporting the efforts to implement the overall peace agreement, dealing the situations in Darfur, and calling on all the regional and international parties to help the Sudanese government establish peace and restore security and stability.

    -- Stressing Somalia's unity, sovereignty and stability, renewing support to national reconciliation and helping the country overcome this crisis.

    -- Stressing keenness on the national unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of United Comoro Islands and support to the efforts of development in the country.

    -- The mounting ferocious attack on Islam and the phenomena of anti-Islam has been a source of great concern, particularly when we see anti-Islam abuse on the rise in countries marked by diversity and accepting the others. The sharp polarization necessitates greater work to narrow the gap which has been widening among cultures and civilizations.

    -- Condemning terrorism in all its forms and combating it to eliminate it and remove its causes, in addition to denouncing attempts to link terrorism to Arabs and Muslims.

    -- Working to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, mainly nuclear weapons, and calling on the international community to force Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Editor: Mu Xuequan

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