Arab, Pacific island countries vow to strengthen cooperation

08:22, June 25, 2010      

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Members of the Arab League and the Pacific Small Island Developing States concluded a meeting on their cooperation Thursday, with the two sides vowing to enhance cooperation in various areas.

"The meeting was held in order to explore ways and means to invigorate cooperation between the two parties in the various political, economic, social and cultural fields, and to review prospects of future development of that cooperation," foreign ministers of Arab and Pacific island nations said in a joint communique released after the meeting in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Participants at the meeting emphasized their interest in strengthening friendship and cooperation between the countries of both regions, the communique said.

"They expressed their determination to steadily go forward with communication, dialogue, consultation and coordination with regards to regional and international issues impacting both regions," it added.

"Cooperation should be intensified in political, economic, social and cultural fields, with a view to promote security, peace and development. Joint efforts should be exerted toward tackling the challenges brought about by the new international changes," the communique said.

The participants reiterated their adherence to the principles and objectives of the United Nations, their commitment to maintaining international peace and security, equal sovereignty of nations, respect for territorial integrity of countries, non- intervention in the internal affairs of countries, peaceful settlements of dispute and the non use or threat of use of force in international relations, it noted.

The communique highlighted the importance of strengthening economic and commercial cooperation, as well as investment between Arab countries and Pacific island nations.

"The participants upheld coordination of efforts in the field of environmental protection, particularly in combating desertification and finding ways of standing up to the challenges posed by climate change. All members of the international community are called upon to provide help to the Pacific Small Island Developing States as they are the worst hit by the fallout of climate change," it said.

According to the communique, the two sides agreed on the establishment of a forum for cooperation and coordination between member countries of the Arab League and the Pacific Small Island Developing States, the general secretariat of which will be in Abu Dhabi.

Foreign ministers of 21 Arab and 14 Pacific island countries attended the meeting, with Australia and New Zealand participating in as observers.

The meeting came at the UAE's initiative launched by Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan following his tour earlier this year to Pacific island countries, aimed at enhancing political and economic ties and developing collaboration between the Arab world and the Pacific Islands.

Source: Xinhua


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