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Arab leaders agree on several measures to protect Arab national security
Writer/Source: Sana (28/3/2010)
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Arab leaders agreed on Sunday on several measures to ensure protection of pan-Arab national security, enable them to defend themselves and maintain their sovereignty.

The "Sirte Declaration " stressed Arab leaders' determination to adhere to Arab solidarity as a practice and an approach, their intention to put an end to inter-Arab differences, dedicating the language of dialogue among Arab countries as an approach to remove causes of differences, confronting foreign interference in their internal affairs, determination to realize development and progress for their peoples and develop their relations with neighboring countries to realize joint Arab interests.

The Declaration also spoke about intention of Arab leaders to continue efforts to develop and modernize the Arab League and its institutions, support and activate it as the main tool for joint Arab action in an attempt to protect joint Arab interests and match up with developments on both Arab and international arenas.

The leaders also discussed an initiative calling for setting up a confederation for Arab countries and decided to follow up this subject through a high five-way committee from Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Qatar Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Iraqi President Jalal Talbani to supervise preparation of a document for developing joint Arab action. The document will be presented to Arab foreign ministers before the upcoming extraordinary summit to be held in October 2010.

They also approved an approach to tackle Arab differences in accordance with Syrian initiative.

Regarding the Palestinian issue, Arab leaders affirmed their support to the Palestinian people, their struggle against the Israeli aggression and their steadfastness until the establishing of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

They condemned Israel's continued settlement practices that violate international humanitarian laws and human rights compacts.

The leaders expressed full support for the city of Jerusalem and the steadfastness of its people in the face of the continuing Israeli aggression against them and against their sanctities, particularly against al-Aqsa Mosque.

They declared a work plan that includes political and legal steps for confronting attempts at judaizing Jerusalem and the constant transgressions against its sanctities.

The Sirte Declaration affirmed that east Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and that all procedures taken in it by the Israeli occupation are legally null and void and therefore do not affect the city's legal status as an occupied city, nor do they affect its political situation as the capital of the state of Palestine.

It demanded the immediate lifting of the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza Strip and calling on the international community and the UN Security Council to take a clear stance regarding this unjust and inhumane siege.

The document called for holding an international conference under the auspices of the Arab League with the participation of all Arab countries and the organizations concerned within this year to defend and protect Jerusalem on all levels.

The Arab leaders expressed their support for Arab efforts for achieving Palestinian national reconciliation and called on Egypt to continue its efforts for achieving a reconciliation agreement signed by all Palestinian parties.

They warned that the continuation of Palestinian division is a real threat to the future and cause of the Palestinian people, calling on all factions to take the necessary steps for reconciliation and cooperating with Arab efforts to guarantee the geographic and political unity of Palestine.

Arab presidents, kings and emirs denounced Israel's serious violations and constant aggressions against Arab countries, affirming that the Israeli aggression against the under-construction military site in Deri Ezzor constituted a violation of Syria's sovereignty, and that Israel used false pretenses to assault a member country in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a party in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They called on the international community to denounce these aggressions and take stern procedures to prevent repeating them.

They reiterated that just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved except by the complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian and Arab lands including the occupied Syria Golan and the occupied areas in South Lebanon.

The Sirte Declaration called on the scheduled 2010 NPT Review Conference to make clear and practical steps to turn the Middle East into a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and warned that Israel's determination to refuse joining the NPT and subject its nuclear establishments to the comprehensive guarantees system of the IAEA will lead to more destabilization of the region.

It urged Iraqi leaderships with all their national affiliations to raise the national interest and put it over all considerations and form a national Iraqi government to protect the unity of Iraq once the country's Constitutional Court announces the results of the elections.

It also expressed solidarity with Sudan in face of intervention in its internal affairs and rejecting the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruling over President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The document welcomed steps reached concerning settling the crisis in Darfur between the Sudanese government and opposition parties.

It appreciated Qatar's efforts to sponsor peace negotiations concerning Darfur and exerted efforts of Libya and Egypt to help unify negotiations stances of opposition movements in Darfur to reach a final and comprehensive peace agreement.

The Arab leaders stressed the importance of Arab-African cooperation and called on the 2nd Arab-African summit to be held in Libya at the end of 2010 for effective Arab-African cooperation.

They expressed solidarity with Arab countries concerned with the procedures that were recently taken by some Western countries on limiting the entrance of their citizens to their Western countries, describing such procedures as discrimination.

The leaders also stressed Arab solidarity with Libya over the procedures adopted by Switzerland and some EU countries against Libyans and warned against dangers that may result out of implementing these procedures.

They asserted the importance of making complete and comprehensive reforms in the UN to meet the Arab aspirations and ask the international organization to deal effectively with the new international challenges of 21st century in way that it becomes more democratic and able to achieve justice, security, peace and development in the world.

They also called for expanding the permanent membership in the UN Security Council to enable all geographical areas to participate in this council.

The Declaration denounced terrorism in all its forms and aspects, calling for holding an international conference under the supervision of the UN to define terrorism, not link Islam to terrorism, and distinguish between terrorism and the right of people to resist occupation.

It welcomed the directives of the Somali government to activate national reconciliation with all the components of the Somali society, urging all Somali parties to reject violence and in-fighting and adopt dialogue and support national reconciliation programs.

It also affirmed adherence to the culture of dialogue and alliance among civilizations and religions to bolster security and peace among peoples, strengthen the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

The document called for working with governments and international organizations to bolster mechanisms for dealing with others' cultures and respecting them.

The Arab leaders affirmed the need for cooptation, dialogue and mutual respect among peoples and cultures for building a world governed by openness and tolerance, stressing that respecting religious sanctities and beliefs is integral to building trust and friendship among nations.

They also voiced firm rejection and condemnation of offending and trespassing against religions and their symbols and values.

The Declaration expressed deep concern over discriminative procedures that had negative effects on Muslim communities in some Western countries, rejecting the Swiss procedures that call for banning the construction of minarets, which contradicts the freedom of belief and human rights conventions.

It called for holding an Arab cultural summit to formulate a future cultural vision for Arab countries.

The document called for adopting active policies for dealing with climate change and preserving the environment in all national and regional aspects of sustainable development and taking a unified stance regarding climate change talks to guarantee the Arab people's right to secure their national resources and ability to achieve development in a manner that preserves the planet and human life.

It also lauded the achievements of several Arab countries in development rates.

The leaders called for cooperation and coordination in various fields of development, particularly land transport, connecting electric networks, renewable energies, the green belts projects, and other projects.

They affirmed constant striving to carry out the resolutions of the Arab Economic, Developmental and Social Summit held in Kuwait on 19-20 March 2009 to serve Arab economic and social common action, limit poverty and unemployment, and achieve sustainable development.

The Sirte Declaration urged youths to participate actively in society by contributing to economic, social, cultural and political development.

It also welcomed the UN General Assembly's approval of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on declaring 2010 an international year for youths, affirming support for this initiative.The statement lauded Algeria's initiative on developing Arab cooperation in the field of youths, stressing the need for giving priority to youth issues within Arab common action.

The Arab leaders expressed relief over implementing an Arab plan for bolstering the culture of human rights and openness, and supporting the principles of fraternity, tolerance and respecting human values.

They stressed the continuation of developing education and upgrading the educational establishments. They called for more interest caring in the Arabic language and stressed their determination to spend more on scientific and technical research.

The leaders highlighted the importance of empowering women and upgrading their economic, social and legal status.
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