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.

 

Saudi King calls for ‘strong and rapid action’ against jihadists

Iran says new sanctions cast doubt on US sincerity

Gulf countries resolve six-month dispute with Qatar

Philippines enters war in Syria!

Morocco maintains regular flights to Ebola-hit nations

Jihadists distribute Yazidi women as spoils of war to fighters

Egypt reduces Badie death sentence to life in prison

AU forces liberate former Shebab stronghold in Somalia

Kurds put aside old rivalries to battle jihadists in Iraq

US imposes new sanctions on Iran

US supplies arms to Lebanon to fight jihadists

Britain terror threat level raised to ‘severe’

Libya conflict takes its toll on migrants

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief

Litany of horrors becomes regular fixture in jihadist-held Syria

Iraq forces mass for onslaught on jihadist siege of Amerli

Doha offers help to rebuild Gaza

Iran alters Arak heavy water reactor over Western worries

New Turkey PM leaves successor troubled legacy

US rules out coordination with Syria on targeting jihadists

Algeria president sacks Belkhadem

Calm reigns over Gaza amid celebrations