Arab summit adopts reform document

Tunisian President Zain al-Abidin bin Ali has announced that Arab leaders have adopted a 13-point programme aimed at promoting political reform in their countries.

    The 13-point blueprint aims at promoting political reform

    Bin Ali made the announcement at the closing session of a two-day summit on Sunday in the Tunisian capital. It is the first joint pledge for reform made by the 22-member Arab League, and is planned to be presented to the G8 summit next month. 

    The Tunisian leader then handed the floor to Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa who read out the document drafted in the last several weeks by Arab foreign ministers. 

    The 13-point plan approved on Sunday affirms the determination of Arab leaders to pursue and intensify the process of political, economic, social and educational reforms according to the choice of their individual societies, their cultural and religious values and their own possibilities. 

    Other points call for fighting terrorism and expanding the bases of democracy and promoting human rights as well as women's rights. 

    In its preamble, the document links reforms to a just settlement of the conflicts facing the region, particularly the Palestinian conflict.

    Attacks on civilians

    Arab leaders also adopted language condemning attacks on "civilians without distinction," a reference to Israeli civilians as well as Palestinians. 

    According to the language adopted at the summit, "the leaders condemn all Israeli military operations in the Palestinian and Arab territories as well as operations that target civilians without distinction." 

    The text also condemns "operations which target Palestinian leaders and which lead to violence and counterviolence," and which the leaders believe they will not lead to peace in the region.

    SOURCE: AFP


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