In an interview published today in the weekly Lebanese magazine 'Al-Shiraa' Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz described his recent tour of the Maghreb [Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia] as having the aim of further consolidating the Arab economic situation. He declared that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is preparing an economic plan for cooperation among Arab states, based on the principle of a joint Arab market and Arab economic integration. Asked if all the Arab countries will participate in this plan, he said consultations have so far been held with the leaders of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, adding that no country would be excluded.
Crown Prince Abdullah made it clear that this plan for Arab cooperation is meant for the benefit of the people, and has nothing to do with any kind of politics. All that is asked of the governments concerned is to endorse the plan; implementation is up to the private sector. He went on to say that all of this is in the context of the current phenomenon of globalization, and that Saudi Arabia has been preparing for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), adding that all procedures would be in harmony with Islamic principles.