Gulf & Middle East
Economic meet on Middle East opens in Jordan
May 18, 2007 - 7:53:14 PM

South Shuneh -, May 18 - The World Economic Forum on the Middle East opened its meeting at Jordan's Dead Sea resort of South Shuneh Friday.

More than 1,000 participants, including 16 heads of state, from 56 countries gathered here to discuss ways to advance economic diversification and peace in the troubled Mideast region.

Jordanian King Abdullah told the opening ceremony that, 'Arab countries are engaged in a major effort to achieve a just settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.'

While calling for discussion on how to turn the hope of peace to reality, the king noted, 'there is an historic opportunity to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement.'

'This year is a year of opportunity, opportunity to end violence, opportunity to make peace, opportunity to build the regional economic power-house of future which begins here now,' he stressed.

According to the agenda, the three-day meeting, under the theme 'Putting Diversity to Work', will focus on efforts to accelerate economic diversification in a time of prosperity for the Mideast region.

It will also emphasize the urgency of promoting peace and understanding in the region of great religious and ethnic diversity.

A meeting of the G11 group of developing countries, including Croatia, Ecuador, Georgia, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, and El Salvador, is due to be held on the sidelines of the forum on May 19.

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