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Arab Summit key to accomplish League goals: Kuwaiti official ‘FTZ, customs union top priorities’

KUWAIT CITY, March 20, (KUNA): The Arab Summit in Kuwait is an effective approach to develop the joint Arab action and would contribute to accomplishing the goals and principles of the Arab League Charter, a top Finance Ministry said Thursday.

Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Sami Al-Saqabi made the remarks at the opening session of the Arab League Economic and Social Council meeting at the level of senior officials and permanent representatives, held to prepare the economic and social file of the March 25-26 Arab summit. Al-Saqabi, who chaired the session, added that the summit aims at finding solutions for issues related to national security, economy and society. It also aims at guiding Arab policies to focus on regional and international issues of common interest. Al-Saqabi said that Qatar’s Arab Summit, which was held last year, approved decisions aimed at solving Arab economic and social issues, especially those that hinder the establishment of an Arab free zone. “The Kuwait summit will follow-up those decisions,” he added. “In order to complete the Arab free trade zone, it is of utmost importance to make a progress in the Arab trade services agreement by setting up a timeframe to eliminating non-customs’ restrictions and agreeing on unified custom tariffs in order to launch the Arab Custom Uhion,” said Al-Saqabi.

The Arab Summit also follow up implementation of resolution of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit since it was launched in 2009 in Kuwait, like customs, electricity, joint transportation network, food and water security, unemployment, education and healthcare, among many projects. Al-Saqabi said today’s meeting also aimed at preparing for the next Arab Economic and Social Development Summit to be held in Tunisia in 2015. Meanwhile, setting up an Arab free trade zone and an Arab customs union are top projects on the agenda of the joint Arab action that would help improve comprehensive Arab economy, a Qatar’s senior finance official said Thursday.

t the opening of a preparatory meeting of the Arab League Economic and Social Council for the 25th Arab Summit, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce Sultan bin Rashed Al-Khater said that committees assigned to establish the Arab customs union should intensify their efforts to ultimately launch the project by 2015 to pave way for the establishment of an Arab common market.

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