D-8 Foreign Ministerial Meeting Begins

February 25, 2001
TEHRAN The eight developing muslim nations, D-8 group opened their fifth meeting of council of ministers in Cairo on Saturday, with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa delivering the inaugural address.

In his speech, he highlighted the necessity of developing economic cooperation among the D-8 member states.

The council of ministers of D-8 member states meets every year for policy making in compliance with with its objectives.

Also, the Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi is in Cairo now to attend the third summit.

The Iranian foreign minister was welcomed at Cairo's airport by his Egyptian counterpart Amr Moussa.

Kharrazi and his accompanying delegation are also to participate in the fifth session of the foreign ministerial meeting of eight Muslim developing countries known as the D-8, to be held on Saturday.

In the meeting Kharrazi is to elaborate on the Islamic Republic's stands regarding strengthening and improvement of the status of developing countries in the context of the global economy, as well as providing commercial opportunities.

The need for strengthening peace and stability at the global level and expansion of cooperation in international relations will also be stressed by the Iranian foreign minister in the meeting.

Kharrazi is also scheduled to hold talks with his counterparts in the D-8 on the sidelines of the conference.

The first gathering of the Eight Developing Countries (D-8) was held in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996.

Iran and seven other Islamic countries -- Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Nigeria -- are members of the group.

In the meantime, a university professor and an expert in regional studies Saturday underlined the high economic potential of the D-8, saying the formation of complementary markets can boost the bargaining power of member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in world trade.

Mohammadreza Majidi, interviewed by the IRNA correspondent in Cairo said, "The combined population of the eight member countries of the D-8 shows that the economic forum, with a combined market of one billion consumers, can command a place in the global trade arena."

Furthermore, he said that the rich natural resources possessed by Iran and the other seven D-8 member countries can provide material for a common market for the states themselves as well as with other Islamic countries. He said these resources include oil, gas, mines and human labor.

The expert underscored the need for G-8 countries to be on the lookout for failure or rift that would thwart convergence among Islamic countries which is a prerequisite for effectiveness of the D-8, and said that given their expanded economic and social cooperation Muslim states should not allow the forum to be defeated by serious challenges.

Majidi stressed that cooperation among Islamic countries will greatly affect their fate at the international level.

(IRNA)