Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called Sunday for the creation of a common Arab market during his speech at the inauguration of the 14th annual conference of the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF) in Cairo.
The conference, entitled ” Arab Integration…Experiments, Challenges and Horizons”, is taking place at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo between 6 and 8 December.
Al-Sisi further highlighted the challenges faced by Arab countries, which constitute a direct threat to their governments and people.
“This requires maintaining the national unity of Arab countries and activating an Arab regional system as an organising framework for all integrated relations and Arab agreements,” Al-Sisi said.
The Egyptian president also renewed his call for the creation of a joint Arab military force to “defend Arab issues”, praising the establishment of the Saudi-Egyptian joint coordination council.
“We [Arab countries] need to identify the sources of threat to Arab security… and identify our priorities in tackling these challenges,” he said.
According to Al-Sisi, Arab joint investment is important in order to take advantage of the Arab natural, financial and human resources. He also said economic integration could be reached by achieving political and security stability.
“I want to affirm the importance of linking industrial development strategies to social policies to achieve our aspirations at the social and economic levels,” Al-Sisi said.
Joint cultural projects will protect Arab nations from the extremists’ ideas and the threats of terrorism, by raising public awareness and creating a cultural renaissance, Al-Sisi continued.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, head of the ATF and the governor of the Mecca province, and Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El-Araby.
This year’s conference marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Arab League.
The Arab Thought Foundation is an international, independent and non-governmental organisation founded in 2001 with a guiding mission to help advance the economic, social and cultural development of the Arab region.