[IWAR] ARAB STATES against terror

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Mon Jan 05 1998 - 10:19:08 PST

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                   Arab states unite against Islamist terror campaigns
          Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1998 Reuters
       TUNIS (January 5, 1998 12:18 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Interior
       ministers from 20 Arab countries Monday agreed to increase cooperation
       to fight "terrorism," a term they generally use to describe Muslim
       fundamentalist violence.
       An official statement, issued after a two-day meeting, said the
       ministers also urged "foreign states" to cooperate with Arab security
       services and legal bodies to help end the violence. This should include
       handing over wanted criminals, it said.
       "The Arab states reject terrorism in all its forms and from whatever
       source ... and there is no room for anarchy and instability," Saudi
       Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, chairman of the Arab
       Interior Ministers Council, said at the closing session.
       "The ministers have approved the draft for an Arab accord to fight
       terrorism," the meeting's final statement said.
       The approval concludes a process that started in 1992 when Arab states,
       alarmed by the rise of Muslim fundamentalist violence, started
       discussing closer cooperation.
       They were particularly spurred on by Algeria and Egypt, two of the
       countries worst hit by violence.
       The text of the draft agreement was not released. But the statement said
       it "aims at reinforcing controls to prevent infiltration of terrorist
       elements through borders and entry points to the Arab states, and
       facilitate procedures for the handing over of those accused of or tried
       for crimes of terrorism."
       Arab interior and justice ministers will sign the agreement in Cairo,
       Egypt, in April, the statement said.
       The ministers, in a separate statement proposed by Egyptian Interior
       Minister Maj. Gen. Habib el-Adli, condemned what they called
       "intensification of terrorist and violent attacks," without naming the
       countries where they occurred.
       Thirty-five civilians were killed in weekend attacks in Algeria where
       government troops were hunting the killers of more than 400 villagers
       which Algerian media said were killed in the Relizane region last week.
       Algerian Interior Minister Mustapha Benmansour Sunday denied the
       Relizane toll, and put it at 78. About 65,000 people have been killed in
       Algeria since violence broke out in early 1992 after the authorities
       scrapped a general election dominated by Islamic fundamentalists.
       Benmansour told his Arab colleagues that the phenomenon would not have
       developed without the leniency of unnamed countries which, he charged,
       did not wish "to see our Arab world stabilize."
       The ministers' meeting took added importance, coming just weeks after
       Muslim militants killed 58 foreign tourists in Luxor, Egypt, in
       "We affirm that the Arab efforts to fight terrorism will be useless if
       terrorism finds a hole through which it can go into some countries," the
       Egyptian minister told the meeting.
       "The heads of terrorism are abroad where they enjoy security and a clear
       protection from the states who harbor them and give them refuge and
       freedom of movement to plan and finance," he said.

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