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Egypt will be ready for free trade with Europe in three years

Brazil Arab News Agency 11/22/2006

Egypt will be ready for free trade with Europe in three years

Randa Achmawi*

Cairo — Egypt will be ready to create free trade area with Europe in three years. The announcement was made by the prime minister of the Arab country, Ahmed Nazif, during an open session of a meeting of Environment Ministers of the countries of the Mediterranean, according to information disclosed yesterday (21) by newspaper Al-Ahram, the main paper in Egypt. The Arab country already has a tariff preference agreement with the EU, but it does not include all products traded.

Nazif stated that his country has made efforts to build relations of partnership between the European Union (EU) through a reform program in the economic, cultural and social areas. He added that the efforts for intensification of cooperation with the EU follow the same logic of the movement of reforms in the country and that there is a greater and greater concern with democracy, human rights, and women’s and children’s rights.

The event in which Nazif participated was the third Euro-Mediterranean conference of Environment Ministers, the first to take place outside Europe. According to the prime minister, the meeting was a great opportunity to promote serious dialogue between the peoples of the Mediterranean region. He made an appeal for the dialogue between civilizations to be guaranteed and used as a tool for discussion of the differences between cultures.

Regarding the environment, Nazif pointed out that the main concerns of the governments represented in the meeting were the rights of the 427 million inhabitants of the countries of the Mediterranean basin to live in an environment free of pollution and the sustainable development of these nations.

The prime minister also stated that the project to eliminate pollution in the region up to 2020 is an objective that complements the efforts that have already been made by the countries of the Mediterranean in the last ten years. According to Nazif, Egypt is among the ten first Arab, African and Islamic countries to adopt an effective concept of sustainable development, having established a National Committee for this purpose.

* Translated by Mark Ament

 source: ANBA