1997 09 06 Saturday No. :20197
ZAYED REITERATES CALL FOR ARAB UNITY
President HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan yesterday received in Rabat, Morocco, speaker of the Moroccan parliament Dr Mohammed Jalal al Saeed and a number of other dignitaries. They reviewed brotherly relations between the two countries, while the Moroccan officials expressed appreciation for Sheikh Zayed's wise policies and national stances aimed at achieving Arab solidarity.
President HH Sheikh Zayed hailed the wise leadership of King Hassan II of Morocco and his support and service of the Arab causes. "We have always been used to His Majesty's good gestures in the service of our Arab and Islamic nation and his pioneering role in treating difficult stands and circumstances being experienced by the Arab nation," President Sheikh Zayed said.
President Sheikh Zayed also added that he would exert all possible efforts in co-operation and co-ordination with King Hassan to revive Arab solidarity and strengthen their unity. President Sheikh Zayed reiterated his call to Arab leaders to strengthen their unity and achieve harmony and reconciliation among Arabs to protect the interests of the Arab nation and its people. Arabs should overcome their current state of dispersion and should face Arab causes with a spirit of sincerity, brotherhood and seriousness, he stressed.
President Sheikh Zayed expressed hope that Arabs would co-ordinate efforts and unify their ranks to confront the dangerous challenges facing the Arab nation collectively. He then questioned: "What had the Arab nation gained from the state of weakness and disgrace? What are we expecting as Arabs from our current dispersion? Shall we wait until opportunities get their goals realised? We ask God Almighty to guide us to the right path."
Sheikh Zayed urged a comprehensive revision of the Arab stance and the taking of appropriate decisions, to avoid the path of loss, through reason and wisdom in order to compensate the losses and to support the common interest. He also called for inter-Arab co-operation, adding that it was better than co-operation with foreign countries as the present circumstances had shown that Arab co-operation is less than that with foreign countries, which are the greatest beneficiaries of such co-operation.
Historians presented the President with copies of their works and research on the Moroccan and Arab culture and heritage and the deep-rooted co-operation between the UAE and Morocco. The works were compiled at Sheikh Zayed's expense as part of his continuous encouragement for the spread of knowledge and culture in the Arab world.
A number of poets also recited poems in praise of Sheikh Zayed and his keen efforts to achieve the aspirations of the UAE people in progress and prosperity.The audience was attended by the Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces Lt General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the President's Special Advisers Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamed and Dr Mana Saeed al Otaiba and the UAE Ambassador to Morocco, Isa Hamad Bushihab. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
Return to contents list
HUJAILAN SUPPORTS UAE ON ISLANDS ISSUE
Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, AGCC, Secretary General Jamil al Hujailan reiterated the AGCC's support to the UAE's legitimate and international right to regain its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa occupied by Iran.
In an interview with Al Ittihad published yesterday, Hujailan said that the AGCC welcomed development of relations with Iran on principles of good neighbourliness, respects for rights, co-operation to secure stability in the region and remove obstacles, adding, "The AGCC countries always back the UAE's right to the islands, call for forging good relations with Iran and urge Iran to work with the UAE for reaching a peaceful settlement through negotiation or refer the issue to the International Court of Justice, ICJ."
He added that the AGCC Foreign Ministers would meet US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Saudi Arabia and expressed hope that she would bring with her a new vision and trust to the peace process in the Middle East region.
"The policy of the AGCC countries is working to ensure a just and comprehensive peace that takes into consideration the rights of the Arabs... this is what we ask of America as sponsor of the peace process and it has a great role in the region's affairs and dealing with Israel," he stressed. He said the Middle East and North America, MENA, Economic Summit due to be hosted by Doha, Qatar, in November, was not on the agenda of the AGCC Foreign Ministers' meeting. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
Return to contents list
AGCC COUNTRIES TO DEVELOP OIL INDUSTRY
The Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, AGCC, countries have given an important indication that they are going ahead with plans to develop and upgrade oil and petrochemicals industries within the present decade. The AGCC countries, sitting on 45.0% of the world's oil reserves and about 15.0% of gas reserves, are banking on the ambitious projects they are planning to meet the growing international demand of oil products, as this would enhance the budgets of these countries and allow higher returns of this dwindling wealth.
Recent studies showed that refined oil represented only 14.6% of the AGCC's total production of crude, a modest rate compared to the huge potentials of these countries in expanding the refining industry. Based on this, the Gulf countries are drawing ambitious plans to increase the rate to 21.0% by the year 2007. The petrochemicals industry is no exception, as the total annual output is expected to surge from the present 7.0 million tonnes to 19.3 million by the year 2000, an increase of 174.0%.
The studies estimate the amounts to be invested in expanding the oil sectors in the AGCC countries to reach $ 34.0 billion (Dh 124.78 billion). Out of this, about $ 20.0 billion is to be invested within the coming 10.0 years. During the last 10.0 years, over $ 19.0 billion was invested in petrochemical projects, especially in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi was the first to anticipate the need for expansion, as Secretary General of the Supreme Petroleum Council, SPC, and General Manager of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, Yousef bin Omeir signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, last year with the Deputy Chief Executive of the internationally-renowned company Borealis to set up two joint ventures for petrochemicals production and marketing. Borealis was also favoured to join ADNOC in setting up a venture for production of resin polymers and polyethelene in the UAE. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
Return to contents list
Capital Intelligence says it has upgraded the long-term rating of the Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign trade, ARBIFT, to BBB+ from BBB in view of the bank's improving financial situation. The short-term rating is A-2 and the outlook is stable, Capital Intelligence, the bank analysis and rating service, said in a statement.
ARBIFT, the UAE's eighth largest bank, is the only bank in which the Federal Government of the UAE has a stake, it said. The UAE and the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank each hold 42.22% of shares, while the remainder is held by the Banque Exterieure D'Algerie, Capital Intelligence said.
ARBIFT suffered asset quality problems in the early 1980s but a change in strategy in 1986 improved the bank's fortunes, the statement said. ARBIFT has progressed steadily over the years, almost doubling its total assets over the last four years to $ 1.4 billion (Dh 5.1 billion), it added. It continues to have international dealings with banks worldwide.
However, the bank has clearly identified corporate banking as its principal activity and is focusing increasingly on the domestic market for both funds-based and off-balance sheet business, the statement said. ARBIFT is expected to benefit from the growing importance of the private sector in the country and the Abu Dhabi Government's medium- and long-term plans for the emirate. (The Gulf Today)
Return to contents list
AGCC PLANS REGIONAL BODY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR AGED
The Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, AGCC, states, comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, are well on their way to developing a unified body to set up effective strategies in the region for health care for the aged.
The possibility of establishing a regional panel for such health care will be one of the major recommendations to be reviewed at the First UAE Gerontology Conference, to be held in Abu Dhabi in November. "Providing maximum social and medical care for elderly people has always been one of the top priorities of the AGCC's Health Ministries," said Aisha al Hosani, Directress of the Abu Dhabi Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
Speaking to Gulf News, she said that the setting up of a specialised committee responsible for planning regional programmes for health care for the aged will be tackled at this major conference to be held on November 18 and 19 under the theme 'Towards Comprehensive Health Care for the Elderly'.
The previous conference, held in Saudi Arabia in 1994, had recommended establishing a specialised committee responsible for developing medical and social health care programmes for the elderly and promoting co-operation between the AGCC countries in the area, al Hosani said. She explained that the existence of such a panel is essential to co-ordinate regional endeavours related to health care for the aged and to transfer the successful experiences of advanced countries in the management of health care for the aged to countries in the region.
Al Hosani recently attended a meeting in Bahrain where preparations for the conference were discussed with Bahraini and AGCC officials. More than 200 world-renowned experts on gerontology are expected to attend the conference, making it a valuable forum for the exchange of knowledge, said Dr Omar al Kodah, Assistant Medical Director at the Centre and Secretary of the Conference.
Around 30 lectures will be delivered at the conference, covering all aspects of gerontology including the awareness programmes that must be designed for the elderly and their families to help them cope with the problems of ageing, he pointed out. He added that prominent Muslim scholars including Sheikh al Sawi will speak about Islamic teachings with respect to the care of the elderly and the importance of securing the maximum comfort and safety for senior citizens. (The Gulf News)
Return to contents list
FUJAIRAH MUSEUM: LANDMARK FOR THE EMIRATE
The Fujairah Museum, which is considered to be one of the outstanding landmarks in the emirate, comprises many ancient artefacts dating back to the first half of the second millenium BC. Despite the elapse of thousands of years, they are still in good condition and reflect a deep-rooted history.
Inaugurated on November 30, 1991, by Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed al Sharqi, the Fujairah Museum consists of two sections: one for archaeology and the other for heritage. Within the framework of continuous renovation efforts, expansion works are now underway to construct five exhibition halls to accommodate the huge number of artifacts discovered lately at different sites in the emirate.
According to Ahmed Khalifa al Shamsi, Director of Archaeology and Heritage Department at the Royal Court of Fujairah, construction works will be completed by the end of October. The Archaeology Department contains many silver artefacts and coins which were in circulation at the beginning of the century. Most of them were discovered at the top of Jebel (hill) Al Shahreyah on the Eastern Coast.
The section also includes agate jewellery, necklaces and bracelets, which women used to wear 3,000 years ago. These were discovered at Qidfaa archaeological site which is considered one of the most important sites in the area. The Archeological Section also contains a number of pottery artefacts and bronze daggers dating back to the first millenium BC.
The Heritage Section reflects the ancient social and economic life of the people of the Eastern Coast. The weapons clearly manifest the marine and pearl-diving life, while the old houses depict the simplicity of the lifestyle at that time. This section also portrays the agricultural life of the people and how they have paid special attention to agriculture, particularly to the date palms, as the mainstay of their economy.
With its outstanding location at the heart of the emirate, the Fujairah Museum represents an important tourist attraction centre and al Shamsi expects the number of the Museum's visitors to increase in the future, in the light of the emirate's plans to upgrade and boost its archaeology and tourist sectors. (Al Wahda Arabic-language daily)
Return to contents list
Back to main index