Arab leaders renew economic unity pledge as summit comes to a close

Updated 24 January 2013
0

Arab leaders renew economic unity pledge as summit comes to a close

Arab leaders attending yesterday’s concluding session of the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit renewed their commitment to fully implement the decisions made at the two previous summits in Kuwait in 2009 and at Sharm El-Sheikh in 2011.
They also agreed to hold the next summit in Tunisia in 2015.
The two-day summit, organized by the Arab League was hosted by the Kingdom with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, as its Chairman.
On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense took over the chairmanship from his predecessor, Muhammad Mursi, at the commencement of the summit on Monday.
Leaders from countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands attended the meeting held at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Hall in the capital.
Arab League Secretary General, Nabil Elarabi, who read out the Riyadh declaration, stressed the importance of the speedy implementation of all decisions passed at the two summits.
It also emphasized the determination of the leaders to remove all barriers that stand in the way of inter-Arab trade and support small and medium enterprises in member countries. The leaders have called for strengthening joint Arab work so as to improve the living conditions and welfare of their citizens.
They also welcomed the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, on the increase of the capital of joint Arab funds by 50 percent to meet the growing needs for the socio-economic development in the Arab countries.
The King’s initiative also called for an increase of capital in joint Arab companies by, at least, 50 percent in a bid to develop their potential for establishing of joint Arab ventures.
They also encouraged inter-Arab investments which, they said, would create new job opportunities, reduce rates of unemployment, curb poverty levels, and promote Arab investment within their countries to enhance economic development in the Arab region. To encourage the flow of inter-Arab investments, they adopted a unified agreement for a capital fund in Arab countries to boost Arab, regional and international development that would increase the flow of inter-Arab investments and make the region more attractive to investors.
They also expressed a commitment to create a conducive environment for investment in their respective countries.
Also adopted was an Arab strategy for the use of renewable energy (2010-2030) aimed at meeting the growing demand for energy and diversifying sources to meet requirements for sustainable development. The strategy is also intended to set up an Arab market in partnership with the private sector for renewable energy, which will create new job opportunities.
It was also demanded that constructive measures be taken to combat hunger and to provide instant relief in emergency situations arising from food security.
Realizing the importance of healthcare services in the Arab region, the declaration said that the countries should take preventive and curative measures against non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. It was felt that NCD creates a significant burden on the economies and health systems in the Arab countries.
They also urged the implementation of the Riyadh Declaration issued by the International Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases in the Arab world and the Middle East,” held in Riyadh in December last year.
Besides setting up the Arab Customs Union by 2015, the house also insisted that matters regarding the formation of the Greater Arab Free Trade should be finalized before the end of 2013.

Full text of the Riyadh Declaration

 


126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj 2018

Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
0

126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj 2018

  • Bangladeshi pilgrims were in a good condition and everything, from accommodation to treatment, was going well

DHAKA: The last Hajj flights from Bangladesh will leave for Saudi Arabia this morning.
About 125,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims have already reached the holy city Makkah, on special flights operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines
(Saudia).
The two operators will take the last batch of 1,400 pilgrims from Hazarat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, after which the Hajj flights will be closed until Aug. 27.
The Bangladesh government has made extensive efforts to cooperate with the Kingdom in arranging travel plans for pilgrims, said officials in Dhaka.
“Our Ministry of Religious Affairs is highly concerned about the well-being of the pilgrims,” Saiful Islam, director of the Hajj Office in Dhaka, told Arab News.
“About 250 Bangladesh officials, including the staff of the Bangladesh mission in Saudi Arabia, have been deployed at places that the pilgrims will visit while performing the rituals of Hajj,” he told Arab News.
Most of the staff of the Religious Affairs Ministry have been sent to Saudi Arabia to assist Bangladeshi pilgrims and provide them with emergency support, Islam said.
“Three medical camps have been established in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah with 30 doctors and nurses to cater to pilgrims’ medical needs. In case of emergency, arrangements have been made to move a pilgrim in critical condition to specialized local hospitals,” he added.
“This year, so far, everything is under control and running very smoothly,” said M. Shahadat Hossain Taslim, secretary-general of the Hajj Agencies Association of Banglaesh (HAAB).
Speaking to Arab News from Makkah, Taslim expressed his gratitude to the Hajj Ministry of Saudi Arabia for its “better Hajj management this year.”
“Last year, many Bangladeshi pilgrims faced difficulty due to lack of transport in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah,” he said. “But this year, we have addressed the issue well ahead of time and are not facing any problem in this regard.”
Bangladeshi pilgrims were in a good condition and everything, from accommodation to treatment, was going well, he added.
A total of 126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj this year.
The Hajj flights from Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia will be closed after Friday and resume on Aug. 27 to bring the pilgrims back home.