First Published: 2013-01-20

 

Rich Saudi Arabia: We must tackle economic roots of Arab Spring

 

Prince Saud al-Faisal says economic summit in Saudi Arabia must break with tradition, tackle people's aspirations in wake of Arab Spring uprisings.

 

Middle East Online

‘We must meet people’s aspirations’

RIYADH - A two-day economic summit that opens Monday in Saudi Arabia must break with tradition and tackle people's aspirations in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, the Saudi Foreign Minister said.

"Our meeting should not be mired in routine," Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a meeting Saturday to prepare for the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit.

"The Arab world has faced these past two years upheavals of a political dimension... but we cannot ignore their economic dimension," he added.

The minister stressed that the summit must tackle "the problems and issues that concern the lives of our people. We must meet the aspirations of the people."

Poverty, unemployment and social inequalities were among the causes that triggered a Tunisian uprising in late 2010 that later spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

Experts have warned the Arab world risks losing the fragile gains made by the uprisings, which brought to an end decades of iron-fisted rule by leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

A recent economic report noted that unemployment in 2011 stood at 16 percent in Arab countries where 17 million people out of 300 million are jobless.

At the same time inter-Arab investments stood at a mere 25 billion dollars across the region.

The summit in oil-rich Saudi Arabia is expected to discuss the amendment of an Arab convention on investments in a bid to bolster the role of the private sector, the minister said.

The meeting would also examine means of drawing up new financial resources to support impoverished Arab states, he added.

IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton told Tunisian businessmen in November that Arab countries in transition should push for reforms, encourage investment, boost productivity and create jobs.

A World Bank-Gallup poll survey published on November 27 stressed the regime was in dire need of "social safety nets" to satisfy the socio-economic demands of the Arab Spring.

 

‘Intense awareness of interests’ but no ‘perfect agreement between Egypt and US

UAE prosecutor refers 41 people to trial on terrorism charges

'PKK suicide attack' kills two soldiers in eastern Turkey

Israel faces mounting pressure after baby killing in arson attack

Iraq TV comedian combats jihadists with laughs

Kerry to Middle East allies: Iran deal will make region safer

Egypt court again postpones verdict in retrial of Jazeera reporters

Al-Nusra Front releases video to show ‘capture’ of US-trained rebels

Egypt court postpones verdict on brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri

Immigration surpasses economy as major concern in Europe

Plane crash kills family members of Bin Laden

Iraq protesters vent anger over poor services

ISIS flexes muscles in eastern Libya

Syria army pushes back rebels near Latakia province

Arbil urges PKK to move out of Iraq Kurdistan

Yemen government returns to Aden with eyes set on Sanaa

Erdogan calls for early elections if no coalition

Palestinian baby killed in arson attack by Jewish settlers

Kurds in Diyarbakir fear return to war

State of emergency in Tunisia extended

Jerusalem Gay Pride attack suspect lashes out in court

'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

Yemen blockade 'killing' as many civilians as war

EU urges Israel to show 'zero tolerance for settler violence'

Cash-strapped Tunisia's Syphax airline grounds flights

Pentagon denies US-trained rebels captured in Syria

Morocco king calls for development of remote regions

Host of US celebrities endorses Iran nuclear deal

PKK braces for fight with Turkey in Iraq mountain bastions

Kurdish party chief dismisses Turkey anti-IS raids

Thomas Cook warns Tunisia attacks affect annual results

Three Al-Jazeera journalists await Egypt retrial verdict

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS