With the participation of more than 300 intellectualsArab National Conference commences in Sana’a [Archives:2008/1154/Local News]

May 12 2008

Mahmood Assamiee
SANA'A, May 10 ) Under the motto, “Arab Joint Work: Challenges and Horizons,” the Arab National Conference, or ANC, kicked off activities for its 19th round in Sana'a with the participation of more than 300 intellectuals.

The four-day conference, which began on Saturday, will discuss numerous work papers on seven points including the challenges facing Arab nations, how to strengthen Arab integration and unite their efforts to face these challenges.

Opening the conference, Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh, cultural advisor to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, talked about the importance of the ANC holding its 19th round amid the latest developments the Arab world has witnessed.

“With the developments the Arab world has witnessed since we met at this conference's 14th round in Sana'a in 2003, the Arab public's feelings now are positive and integrated in all Arab nations,” Al-Maqaleh said.

“Despite feelings of frustration [in the area], the Middle East project adopted by the United States and the Zionist entity is now deteriorating one of us will forget that what's happening in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon and the horrible actions there are related to this project,” he added.

Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi, head of ANC's preparatory committee, stated that this conference is independent and neutral, adding that it consists of 700 intellectual and policy leaders from all Arab nations.

He noted that the conference will discuss joint Arab efforts, their mechanisms and obstacles, the mechanisms of Arab economic unity regarding a unified Arab Parliament, as well as a report on the conference's agenda.

For his part, ANC Secretary-General Khalid Al-Sufyani mentioned the importance of holding the 19th round of this conference during renewed Israeli attempts to extort Palestine and five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

“We're holding a national Arab conference in a country that's nationalist to the bone,” Al-Sufyani observed, adding, “The United States and its imperialist project in this region have been beaten and indications of the vanishing of Zionism and Israel have begun.”

Citing Israeli aggressions against Palestinians and the Gaza blockade imposed by Israeli troops, he called on Arab nations to unite their efforts and stand firm to liberate Palestine.

“From this place, as Arab people [nationalists], we declare that we'll continue our struggle to liberate Palestine and all occupied Arab lands. We say many thousands of 'Yes!' that Israel has no place in Arab lands,” Al-Sufyani stated.

He further mentioned the situation in Iraq, the killing and the use of weapons of mass destruction in that country since the 2002 U.S. invasion, noting that more than 1.5 million people have been killed in Iraq.

“The period 2007-2008 is characterized by unifying all Iraqis and their firm struggle against the U.S. occupation his conference affirms that there's no solution in Iraq other than forcing the occupation, its forces and its agents out of that country,” he said, further urging Iran to change its approach in Iraq.

Additionally, he called on all Arab peoples to organize demonstrations against U.S. President George W. Bush's visits to any Arab countries.