KUWAIT, Nov 19 (KUNA) -- Arab and African leaders taking part in the Third Africa-Arab Summit conference here on Tuesday extolled the initiative by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to host the summit.
The remarks were made in speeches at the second session of the two-day conference of the Arab and African leaders or their representatives.
Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour said the convening of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit reflected Kuwait's keenness to support joint Afro-Arab action, hailing His Highness the Amir for hosting the summit.
Mansour said in his speech before the summit tonight that his country was proud to have laid the cornerstone for the Arab-African cooperation when it held the first summit in Egypt in 1977, and looked eagerly to what has been accomplished so far.
He added that Egypt would continue playing its role in achieving development in the African continent as directed by the ancestors, saying that the Arab world and the African countries were looking forward to achieving the aspirations of the 2nd summit that was held in Sirte, Libya according to the vision of 2011-2016.
He hailed the efforts played by the Arab League and the African Union Commission in their joint report to foster joint cooperation, adding that the two sides were in need for a mechanism to implement the joint projects.
He also called for establishing a financing mechanism for the Arab-African joint projects, saying that Egypt would not hesitate in harnessing all of its potentials to execute the plans adopted by the two sides.
He said that Egypt was taking steady strides despite the ongoing challenges, saying that his country would see a general referundum for a constitution that would secure the rights of the people to be followed by legislative and presidential elections in few months.
For his part, President of the Comoros Ikililou Dhoinine said that the Kuwaiti investments in his country were the first among the Arab investments, urging the Arab businessmen to come and do business in his country.
He hailed the role played by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) in supporting infrastructre projects in the Comoros.
He also called for an international assistance to his country.
For his part, President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe said in his speech that the current challenges facing the African continent necessitated that all efforts be united to overcome obstacles.
Among the challenges that need to be adressed are unemployment, food security, growth rates and the fragile infrastructure, he said, calling for world assistance to his country in this regard.
He said that Zimbabwe exports the raw materials to the west, saying that mutual partnership between the two sides would bolster this sector and such move would help the people of Zimbabwe live and work alone away from foreign assistance.
He called for increasing the financial resources to the African continent, saying this would help lure foreign investors to come and do business in the numerous sectors Africa can offer them, in addition to exploiting the abundant natural resources.
He also called for investment in the agricultural sector, which he said would boost efforts to combat the challenges facing the food security issue.
He called for setting appropriate strategies for the development in the agricultural infrastructure, urging the Arab side to share its experiences with the African countries for mutual benefits.
He also invited Arab businessmen to invest in mining, tourism, energy and trade sectors in his country.
For her part, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in her speech that the world is urged to resolve the probelem of thousands of poor people in Africa.
She spoke about Africa's post 2015 vision which she hoped it would be executed, recalling at the same time the meeting of the Arab and African countries on agriculture saying this would enable Liberia, which has sustained numerous conflicts, to achieve a sustainable development.
She said that her country enjoyed abundant natural resources but lacks the propoer funding, urging the private and public sectors from both sides to come together and take advantage of these resources in her country.
On his turn Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogized His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah over the recent loss of renowned Kuwaiti philanthropist Abdulrahman Al-Sumait.
Al-Sumait, known particularly for his huge humanitarian efforts in Africa, is "as much a Kenyan as he was a Kuwaiti," he said.
He carried out "wonderful work and had a good nature, and gave so much to the Kenyan people," added the president.
On relations between Africa and the Arab world, he said they were "solid" as both shared the same history, aspirations and social problems.
This summit will provide opportunities for this "win-win partnership" to thrive, he added.
Through the summit, so far, cooperation has been effectual, however there are things that are missing for this partnership to be even more successful and the nations of both regions are at the centre of the developing world.
Kenya has an abundance of natural wealth, and requires Arab expertise and technological capabilities to administer its natural resources like gas, agriculture and energy resources, along with its infrastructure and logistical facilities.
As Kenya received Arab support during the terrorist attack it had experienced, Kenyatta expressed support of Palestine's ambitions for membership of the UN, and said that Kenya had already supported Palestine's UNESCO membership.
This reflects the huge sense of brotherhood and togetherness between the neighbouring regions, he underlined.
Meanwhile, the contributions of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development were commended by South Sudan President Silva Kiir Mayardit.
His nation's capital, Juba, still benefits from the Al-Sabah Hospital, and South Sudan along with other African nations have benefitted from schools and accomodation all sponsored by the Kuwaiti state fund.
He urged his nation's need for loans to sponsor its requirements on the sectors of agriculture, energy, the industry and the infrastructure.
South Sudan has many natural resources, namely water, agricultural, forests, minerals and animals.
Out of its 30 million hectares of agricultral land, only five percent is utilised, with rains of 1,200mm a year, he underlined.
On his part, Mauritanian President Mohammad Ould Abdulaziz said geography and history were uniting Arabs and Africans "which contributed to ... humanity." "We should foster our partnership in order to revive the status of our region," he said.
Abdulaziz called for cementing cooperation between the African and Arab region in different domains for the best interest of their people.
Senegalese President Macky Sall, in his speech, thanked His Highness the Amir of Kuwait for hosting the Summit.
Sall said the economic forum that was held last week aimed at boosting "our joint cooperation." He said challenges the two regions were facing were "liberating ourselves from economic affiliations with others.
"I call upon the Arab and African private sectors to invest in Africa, where there are opportunities of partnerships, and to fund our common development projects.
For his part, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir called for further cementing Arab-African solidarity, and thanked His Highness the Amir for hosting the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit.
"We hope this summit would push forward the Arab-African plan of action of the years 2011-16," said Al-Bashir, expressing belief that Arab and African people were capable of achieving food security.
Al-Bashir condemned the "criminal act" in Lebanon, and denounced the Israeli policies against the Palestinian people.
For his part, Tunisian Prsident Moncef Marzouqi commended His Highness the Amir for his initiative to extend USD one billion in easy loans for Africa in the coming years.
"We should build the Arab and African human being," he asserted.
"We in Tunisia believe the Arab world has great capabilities that enable it make good use of not used capacities," he said.
Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi said the summit was held amdist complicated regional circumstances that required efforts to be redoubled to confront such challenges, and bolster bilateral cooperation between Africa and Arab world.
Hadi said Kuwait chairmanshiop of the summit would transform these dreams into practical reality, and would make qualitative leap for wider horizons of cooperation in all domains.
He called for boosting cooperation, establishment of studies center, supporting of private sector, enhancing inter-trade between the two blocs, boosting capitals' movement as well as coordinating security cooperation to combat piracy and terrorism.
On his part, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the hosting of the Third Africa-Arab summit was a "true expression of the constructive role Kuwait is playing within the Arab group to enhance bonds of Afro-Arab friendship and cooperation.
He told the conferees the the summit was facing a huge challenge given the fact the peoples of the two regions attached great hopes on the outcome and practical resolutions of the meeting.
The Palestinian leader said Africa was a promising land of opportunities and has recorded high rates of growth in recent years.
Arab Gulf states must direct their investments towards Africa and play a key role in Afro-Arab trade exchange, Abbas said, pointing out the returns of such investment on both sides.
On the Palestinian issue, Abbas lashed at the Israeli government for the policies it pursued that hindered achievement of peace in Palestinian.
On his part, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said the summit was held as the world was searching for whatever motivated the economic growth in the pursuit of social justice and prosperity.
He expressed satisfaction for the expectations of growth in the Arab and African economies, calling on the Arab gulf countries to grap the opportunity and invest in Africa.
He lashed at Israel for apprehending the Arab investment endeavours in Africa, noting that African democratic countries are able of providing the legal protection for Arab investors.
Egyptian President Adly Mansour on Tuesday voiced support to efforts aimed at backing up the Afro-Arab joint cooperation, noting that Egypt's Afro-Arab identity was the core reason behind hosting the first Africa-Arab summit in 1977.
He told today's second session of the Third Africa-Arab summit conference here that his country was eager to see a new stage of cooperation between the two regions, expressing readiness to back up resolutions to be adopted in Kuwait.
Highlighting the Egyptian national project of the Suez Canal, Mansour hoped that Egyptians would gather around this giant scheme of development on patriotic basis. He expressed believe that several jobs would be created from the promising money luring project. (pick up previous) tg.bs.sd.bz.