OIC propopses setting up Islamic Free Trade Area
The Organization of Islamic Conference has proposed setting up an Islamic Free Trade Area (IFTA) to boost trade and investment among the grouping members.
The OIC Business Forum, which held its session in conjunction with the 10th Islamic Summit here, said the IFTA would be established in stages through structured regional cooperation and would be followed by an Islamic Common Market.
Expressing dismay at the low economic and commercial cooperation among the Muslim countries, the OIC called on economic organisations of the member countries to promote Intra-Islamic economic and commercial links and facilitate the formation of the IFTA.
It said the business forums should reinforce private sector participation in enhancing trade and business cooperation.
OIC Business Forum Chairman Dr Michael Yooh said it has also been proposed to institutionalise the Business Forum as part of the OIC leaders summit in future.
The 11-point OIC Business Forum declaration prepared by a six-member committee, from Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and others, has recommended the formation of an experts group to implement the economic agenda of the grouping.
Other recommendations include the development of investment promotion policies that are in line with the respective national priorities of the OIC member countries.
Taken From: http://www.deepikaglobal.com/ENG4_sub.asp?ccode=ENG4&newscode=26900
General under fire on Islam
A senior Pentagon intelligence officer is under fire for his comments about Islam.But Lt Gen William Boykin, deputy under-secretary of defence for intelligence and war-fighting support, has said he is "neither a zealot nor an extremist."
He has apologised to those offended by his statements but did not take back any of his remarks.
Lt Gen Boykin, whose comments at churches and prayer meetings have portrayed the US war on terrorism in religious terms, has sought to explain comments including one that Muslims worship an "idol".
But he has stressed that he is not "anti-Islam."
Democrats including presidential candidates Joseph Lieberman and John Kerry have criticized Lt Gen Boykin's remarks and blamed George W Bush and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld for failing to rein him in.
Taken From: http://www.itv.com/news/1708243.html
Morocco: Seminar on Arab-African relations underway
A seminar with the theme “The Arab World andAfrica: Challenges of the Present and the Future.” Organizing the conference is Morocco’s Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with Rabat-based Islamic Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). The latter has put the Sahel countries of Africa among its top priorities, seeing the great need of the people of this region of the continent.
Taken From: http://www.islamicnews.org/english/index.html