Jan 22 2013
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King back home after attending Riyadh summit
On the sidelines of the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, the King held bilateral meetings with Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifah, Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The talks tackled regional issues, namely Syria and Middle East peace efforts, and ways and means of enhancing pan-Arab cooperation "to meet the aspirations of Arab people." Over two days, Arab leaders discussed a package of economic and social proposals on a rail link among Arab countries, increasing investment, intra-trade and an Arab customs union due to go into force in 2015.
Also high on the agenda was an Arab renewable energy strategy along with galvanizing Arab, regional and international development funds to contribute to emergency Arab food security programmes to counter a food crisis announced by the World Bank in addition to implementing a joint Arab programme to curb poverty and communicable diseases.
Among millennium development goals tackled by the summit were supporting efforts by ad hoc Arab ministerial councils, based on development statistics, and linking them with national agencies to establish a data base and a mechanism to help countries fight hunger and intervene promptly to address the ramifications of emergency crises on food security.
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