Association seeks cooperation between African and Arab people [Archives:2007/1049/Local News]

May 10 2007

SANA'A, May 9 ) The second conference of the Senate and Shoura Councils Association, including other similar councils in Africa and the Arab world, was hosted by Yemen May 7-9 with the participation of 19 African and Arab countries.

Yemeni Vice President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi said Yemen is interested in the association's role in order to build good Arab-African relations. He stressed that the coming stage will witness a constitutional amendment, which currently is being prepared, to expand the Shoura Council's powers, notably regarding legislation, including regulating the relationship between Parliament and the Shoura Council.

Hadi added, “At this important juncture in the region's history we need the association because we need greater cooperation and coordination to explore new areas of fruitful cooperation between Arab and African peoples.”

Supporting him, Abdullah Abdulaziz Abdulghani, Shoura Council chairman and president of the Senate and Shoura Councils Association, called upon board members to hasten payment of financial obligations approved at the association's second meeting in November 2005. At the same time, he praised what he described as the generous response of a number of council members with respect to these obligations.

He further stated that the association is one of the few most active regional formations available for constant consultation, as well as direct and fruitful cooperation between Arab and African countries.

Abdulghani added that one of the association's most important priorities is deepening communication between council members with the aim of exchanging experiences and information, improving performance of professional board members to be able to enhance their constitutional levels and promoting more active parliamentary diplomacy aimed at building bridges of political, economic and cultural cooperation between member countries.

He further stated that the association will establish a new committee in the name of joint operations of the association and examine security issues in Africa and the Arab world. Abdulghani added that the association currently is considering a new mechanism of action and a common aim to collect all member states' industry and chamber of commerce boards into a framework of economic entities that would activate economic cooperation, investment and trade between member countries during the upcoming period.

The association's assistant secretary-general, Mohammed Al-Tayeb, noted, “Our second conference addressed a number of important issues regarding revitalization and activating the role of parliamentary institutions in Arab and African countries as the most important channel of direct communication between Africa and the Arab world.”

Al-Tayeb added that conference participants discussed over three days all of the issues related to the role of parliamentary diplomacy and activating board members in order to create broad prospects for cooperation and exchanging mutual benefits between Arab and African countries, especially in economic areas.