Monday, October 27, 2008
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
EU DICTATOR (WORLD LEADER)
12 And the ten horns (NATIONS) which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse:(PEACE) and he that sat on him had a bow;(EU DICTATOR) and a crown was given unto him:(PRESIDENT OF THE EU) and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.(MILITARY GENIUS)
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.(THE EU AND ITS DICTATOR IS GODLESS)
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.(DICTATOR COMES FROM NEW AGE OR OCCULT)
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;(MURDERERD) and his deadly wound was healed:(COMES BACK TO LIFE) and all the world wondered after the beast.(THE WORLD THINKS ITS GOD IN THE FLESH, MESSIAH TO ISRAEL)
4 And they worshipped the dragon (SATAN) which gave power unto the beast:(JEWISH EU DICTATOR) and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?(FALSE RESURRECTION,SATAN BRINGS HIM TO LIFE)
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.(GIVEN WORLD CONTROL FOR 3 1/2YRS)
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,(HES A GOD HATER) to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.(HES A LIBERAL OR DEMOCRAT,WILL PUT ANYTHING ABOUT GOD DOWN)
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,(BEHEAD THEM) and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(WORLD DOMINATION)
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.(WORLD DICTATOR)
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.(SAVED CHRISTIANS AND JEWS DIE FOR THEIR FAITH AT THIS TIME,NOW WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE BUT DURING THE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH, PEOPLE WILL BE PUT TO DEATH (BEHEADINGS) FOR THEIR BELIEF IN GOD (JESUS) OR THE BIBLE.
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (ROMANS IN AD 70) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMANS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he( EU ROMAN, JEWISH DICTATOR) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:( 7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,( 3 1/2 YRS) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
EU CALLS FOR WORLD GOVERNMENT
LIST OF WORLD TRADE BLOCS
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (EUROPE)
CLUB OF ROME
MONDAY MOURNING MIDEAST STORIES
COUNTRIES AND REGIONS
Oct 28, 2008 Clear-out time for IMF, World Bank By Hossein Askari
In 1944, as the end of World War 11 was coming into view and in the aftermath of financial disorder following the Great Depression, the two Bretton Woods institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), were created. The World Bank was mandated with financing the reconstruction of Europe and with long-term economic development projects in developing countries; the IMF was mandated to be the guardian of international monetary stability. However, over the years, both institutions deviated significantly from their respective mandates to become politicized, over-ambitious and grasping all decision-making in countries that fell in dire need of their resources. In the process, they have outgrown
their size, become inefficient and have lost control of their own affairs.
They now duplicate each other to a point that many ministers of finance and heads of central banks do not know the difference between the World Bank and the IMF. As a result, a number of academics and politicians have called for the fusion of the two institutions. Both institutions have incurred financial losses: the World Bank had to downsize in the 1980s, and the IMF had to do so recently. Both institutions have also played havoc with the development process of many developing countries, pushing them deep into debt and economic decline for a number of years. As the world economy has been recently shaken by unprecedented financial, food and energy crises, resulting in the socialization of the financial system of many advanced countries, the media, politicians and academics have naturally wondered whether the two Bretton Woods institutions have carried out their mandates efficiently. Unfortunately, the performance record of both institutions has been deeply disappointing. Both institutions have been criticized by many leading figures for their ill-designed policies. Over more than three decades, the World Bank has concentrated on policy lending in privatization, demobilization of armies and downsizing of countries' civil services, while neglecting agriculture development in many potentially agriculture rich countries as well as infrastructure. Such diminished emphasis on agriculture has undermined food security in many developing countries facing rapid population growth. The IMF has over the past decade renounced its monetary role. Dominated by political slogans, it has portrayed itself, instead, as a poverty fighter. Both institutions wanted to promote good governance and fight corruption in Africa, as if corruption existed only in Africa and nowhere else. Although fighting corruption has no clear or measurable meaning, most likely turning humans into angels, such demagoguery shows how far removed both institutions have been diverted from their Bretton Woods mandates.
While intransigent and dictating policies to developing countries, the IMF has always been congratulatory of US policies. Staunchly supporting former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's bailing out of hedge funds and excessive monetary and deregulation policies, the IMF has urged the European Central Bank to lower interest rates and pursue the same policy stance as the US Fed. In contradiction with its mandate to stabilize exchange rates as well as take an orthodox monetary approach to the balance of payments, the IMF was strongly, and at the same time wrongly, supportive of a deep depreciation of the US dollar through very low interest rates, as called for in its past World Economic Outlook documents, to solve external imbalances. Of the Group of 20 meeting in Kleinmond, South Africa, in 2007, Reuters reported The view of the IMF is that the move in the dollar depreciation is in the correct direction, Evidently, fast depreciation of the dollar contributed to an acceleration of commodity price inflation, food riots and crippling energy prices. As a result of the explosion of food and energy prices, real incomes have fallen sharply, economic growth has slowed and unemployment has started to rise.
Unlike natural disasters (such as floods, tsunamis and earthquakes) that cannot be predicted, financial crisis have never been random events. They were fully documented by classical economists in the 19th century and were shown to be an unavoidable result of speculative credit boom. Irving Fisher (1933) ruled out all causes for a financial crisis except a sustained speculative credit boom and over-indebtedness. Did the IMF predict the present financial crisis when it was in the stage of incubation? No. Even after the financial crisis broke in August 2007, the IMF continued to be supportive of present Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's aggressive monetary policy, which has precipitated economic recession and downfall of giant financial institutions. Recently, the IMF has fully endorsed gigantic bailouts proposed by US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and European authorities and socialization of the banking sector, without explaining reasons for such endorsements and their economic, financial, and social implications. While Bernanke has recently confessed to the US Congress concerning the failure of monetary policy and suggested a stimulus program to cope with recession, the IMF has remained in a passive position. There is no plan that can be authentically called an IMF plan put forward by IMF for dealing with the financial crisis. The world community cannot afford two big institutions being the vested interest of highly paid officials and failing to achieve their basic mandates. World leaders should consider reshaping these two institutions according to the type of organization they were in the 1950s and 1960s. A major cause of the present crisis is that financial institutions refuse to deal with their basic mandates and want to extend their role to areas that do not fall under their jurisdiction. In this respect, central banks in many countries, most notably the US Federal Reserve, do not want to manage liquidity and regulate the banking system; instead, they want to promote full employment and growth, based on the Taylor rule (which stipulates how nominal interest rates should be changed in response to divergences of actual GDP from potential GDP and divergences of actual rates of inflation from a target rate of inflation) or inflation targeting.
Similarly, the IMF does not want to deal with monetary issues; it wants to fight poverty and corruption. In doing so, it has recruited anthropologists and social workers and has lost over the years its monetary know-how, as new generations of staff are no longer familiar with IMF practices as they existed. The World Bank does not want to specialize in financing growth projects; it wants to promote democracy, fight corruption and promote good governance and civil society. Both institutions have been advocating reform in member countries; now, they have to admit that they themselves need reform. The IMF should remodel itself into the organization it was in the 1950s and 1960s, basically deleting its poverty, social and structural mission, and closing its resident representative missions that number over 90 in developing countries. It is clear that more than a decade since the IMF decided to fight poverty in Africa, it has impoverished itself by going deeply into the red and has only increased poverty and destabilized a number of African countries. Often, the IMF was told that poverty reduction was the prerogative of the World Bank and a large number of regional development banks. Yet, the IMF never accepted this truth and kept on insisting on its poverty fighter role. Its poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF) amounts to a pure budgetary loan disbursed every six months to a country to finance pure government expenditures, namely large increments in salaries of the army and civil service. Such use of IMF money makes a country indefinitely dependent on the IMF to meet its military and civil service salaries. The PRGF resources and the huge operational costs for running PRGF programs should instead be added to the resources of regional development banks and finance only development projects (such as in health, infrastructure, education, agriculture, energy and so forth). The world needs an IMF that is in charge of macroeconomic policies, namely fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies, leaving trade policies to the World Trade Organization and economic development and its financing to the World Bank. The IMF has to deploy its resources and recruit experts in central banking and in the financial sector, and put in place programs for rebuilding sound and safe banking sectors in every member country, most importantly in major industrial countries. The IMF has a long way to go to fill up the regulatory gap in the financial sector, banking, securities, and futures and derivatives. It should not underestimate this important task.
The IMF has to be a lender of last resort only to central banks, or monetary authorities, of a country, using one facility for all countries, and on a temporary basis. Keeping a country for several years under a program will be totally damaging to the country as the country cannot regain control of its economic development policies and will remain forever under an IMF program. Gold used to be an anchor for central bank's issuance, and used to be, par excellence, the settlement means for international balances that cannot be settled with securities and claims. Now, we have an environment with a fiat money (paper) standard with flexible exchange rates. The IMF has to control monetary and credit aggregates in such an environment in order to establish monetary stability. For each country, the IMF should establish a benchmark monetary program against which monetary performance can be evaluated periodically. Such an indicative monetary program should be consonant with exchange rate and price stability and external sector viability. The IMF should monitor credit aggregates by sector and by maturities, and regularly evaluate the soundness of the banking system. Fast expansion of credit can only fuel speculation and deteriorate creditworthiness in a country and lead to a financial crisis when profits starts diminishing rapidly. Distorted maturities can be a cause of instability. The IMF should discourage factor and product-price distortions. Most importantly, the IMF should discourage the use of interest rates as a policy tool, as this instrument has turned out to cause instability, distort prices and create a highly unpredictable monetary framework. The World Bank should concentrate on fighting poverty and speeding up economic growth in developing countries. It has to channel International Development Association resources (low-cost funding for poorer countries) unconditionally to eligible countries and direct these resources only to long-disbursing development projects and not to quick-disbursing budgetary aid. The poorer countries need much more funding for health, education and infrastructure and for private-sector growth. World governments should also understand better the mandates of the Bretton Woods institutions. Such understanding would help both institutions remain confined to their true mandates. In recent days, the major concern with both of these institutions has been the unfolding sex scandal involving the head of the IMF, managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF board at the weekend cleared Strauss-Kahn of harassment, favoritism and abuse of power after it hired a Washington DC law firm to investigate his affair with an IMF economist. The board's statement on October 25 nevertheless noted that the incident was regrettable and reflected a serious error of judgment on the part of the managing director.
That scandal followed on the heels of another involving the former head of the World Bank (resulting in his resignation). And in the past, rumors have been rife throughout the institution about impropriety on the part of board members themselves. These institutions are in need of serious management overhaul. At the same time, the management of these institutions is dominated by the US, a handful of European countries and Japan. While the institutions preach good governance and management, they have been unable to adapt themselves. China is arguably the most important economic power in the world after the United States. Yet Britain and France dwarf its influence. Latin Americans are similarly under-represented. The list goes on. Will the present financial crisis shake up the Bretton Woods institutions and make them rise up to the challenges facing the world economy? This will be answered in the months to come. Nonetheless, drifting further away from initial Bretton Woods mandates and not improving their management will be costly for the world economy. Resources will be squandered. Frustration among politicians and bankers will increase. There have already been calls in many quarters and reputable newspapers (such as London's Financial Times) for a world central bank to take charge of world monetary affairs and stabilize financial markets. It's time to act ahead of the curve. Hossein Askari is professor of international business and international affairs at George Washington University. 2008 Asia Times Online (Holdings)
EABC roots for southern African common market 2008-10-24 10:26:03
By Hannah Mwandoloma, Kampala
East African Business Council chairman Reginald Mengi has urged regional economic communities to work for faster expansion of intra-African trade and the creation of a common market. He described that as among the most reliable options the blocs? member countries have to withstand and cushion the impact of the on-going international financial crisis. Mengi made the appeal in an address here on Wednesday to the just-ended two-day tripartite summit of the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member countries. He said it was of crucial importance for Africa to expedite the process of enhanced economic integration by pooling its small economies together and quickly. Africa can achieve economies of scale necessary for rapid industrialisation and global competitiveness the private sector is ready to play its part, Mengi said. He appealed to leaders at the summit to have enough political will to adopt urgent measures that would trigger a new direction and accelerated expansion of intra-African trade. The private sector in the 26 EAC, SADC and Comesa member countries would like to see speedy regional integration which would maximise economic growth and wealth creation, he stated. The EABC chief, who is also chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), noted that lack of adequate protection of industries hindered the achievement of the goal.
Accordingly, he called on the countries concerned to go beyond the establishment of a free trade area and consider establishing a customs union. He saw the union providing for common external tariffs that would protect the countries from being dumping grounds and protecting the viability and competitiveness of their respective industries. Mengi also warned that counterfeit goods threaten the competitiveness of industries and eventually ruin the economies of the countries they flood. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), up to 50 per cent of medicines distributed to the global market especially to poor countries are fake or counterfeit and according to the statistics of one particular country represented here today, fake drugs contributed to about 20 per cent of all deaths in 2007, he said. Observing that fake drugs were a threat to people?s lives, he pleaded for legislation to combat them and for care to be taken not to confuse generic drugs with fake and counterfeit ones.
EABC was founded in November 1997 as an apex body of business associations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Its formation was actively supported by the EAC
secretariat in view of the increasing participation of the private sector players in issues of regional integration. The council advocates free movement of people in the region, formation of private-public sector alliances to strengthen small and medium size enterprises, pooling of resources to develop infrastructure in East Africa on a regional scale and the strengthening of good governance and security. It has since grown to become the voice of the private sector in East Africa, its mission being to be an effective change agent for fostering an enabling business environment for a diversified, competitive, export-led, integrated and sustainable economy. President Jakaya Kikwete opened the Kampala summit, which ended yesterday, recommending a merger of the three economic blocs in eastern and southern Africa to speed up development in the region. The heads of state and government from 26 countries represented at the summit endorsed the idea in principle. SOURCE: Guardian
America's Monetary Woes Let the Air Out of Europe Pain from the euro zone to the emerging East.From today's Wall Street Journal
As this latest monetary bubble bursts (see here), one region that's especially feeling the pain is Eastern Europe. The emerging markets that thought they had come of age by joining the EU or the World Trade Organization in recent years are now gasping for the credit that once flowed freely.Many of the headlines so far have focused on Hungary, which moved last week to defend the rapidly declining forint with a three-point interest rate hike, to 11.5%. Budapest had made strides in reducing its budget deficit from more than 9% of GDP just a few years ago to a projected 3%-4% next year. But the government's reliance on foreign capital inflows, which tend to be dollar liabilities, now has markets guessing it won't be able to finance those liabilities.Ukraine is also struggling, though mostly because the dollar's rise and falling steel prices have left its businesses short of the foreign currency they have used to fuel the country's strong growth the past few years. Substitute oil for steel and you could say the same thing about Russia and its businesses.Moscow has much larger foreign-currency reserves than Kiev, and it is using that money to keep the Russian economy from falling even further than it already has. But Russia is paying for its inability to adopt the rule of law and diversify its economy beyond oil. It has remained a commodity play whose financial prospects fall when the price of oil falls. Vladimir Putin thought he could make Russia a great power again on petrodollars alone. Instead he's built a Saudi Arabia with more time zones and nuclear weapons.
Once upon a time, many countries to the west of this trio might have faced similar problems. The introduction of the euro has changed that, removing currency volatility within the 15-nation bloc and making it a source of stability. National politicians who might have tried to devalue their way out of trouble have been kept in check.That said, the wild swings in the euro-dollar price this decade, and especially this year, are now hurting the Continent. Such dramatic currency-price swings tend to result in misallocated capital, and the damage from that misallocation, and its inevitable correction, can be severe.The European Central Bank and its president, Jean-Claude Trichet, have been praised in these pages and elsewhere for keeping their focus on inflation. In retrospect, however, the lack of policy coordination between the ECB and the U.S. Federal Reserve has contributed to the sharp currency swings that send distorted price signals. We think Mr. Trichet and his colleagues were more right than the Fed has been, but the currency turmoil of the last 14 months has hurt everyone. The world needs better monetary coordination going forward.The ECB has signaled that it will continue to cut rates beyond the 50-basis-point reduction this month, and with the weakness in Europe's economy that may be appropriate. As with the earlier cut, the Europeans should move in step with the Fed to avoid more volatility -- and maybe overshooting on the downside. When a global economy finds itself in a global crisis, the world's leaders can't afford to work against one another.
President Sleiman at the 12th Francophonie Summit Lebanon’s message of openness and harmonious coexistence.The family photo of the summiteers in Quebec (President Sleiman is second from left in the second row)
Prime Minister Saniora meeting on Friday with Deputy Premier Abou-Jamra (left) and Minister Shamseddin.A warm handshake at the Quebec summit between presidents Sleiman and Sarkozy.And between the Lebanese president and Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper.President Sleiman addressing the summit.Mrs. Wafa Sleiman flanked by official personalities.A warm welcome for President Sleiman in Montreal.Addressing the Lebanese community in Canada’s second city.In conversation with Canadian MP Maria Mourani.President and Mrs. Sleiman attending the mass at St. Maroun’s Cathedral
On Thursday President Michel Sleiman received a delegation of graduates of the Lebanese University’s Information Faculty, with whom he discussed a number of matters. He first explained that his objective was to reposition Lebanon on the international scene”. He added, We are a country that is distinguished by its pluralism and its role in the wider world. But before assuming this role, it needs to reposition itself correctly in relation to international institutions and on the Arab, regional and international levels as a state having organized constitutional institutions and a unified position on the level of foreign policy, he said.
After underlining the improvement on the political and economic levels to the extent that Lebanon succeeds in overcoming the international financial crisis, the president spoke of preparations for the coming legislative elections, which have begun with the new electoral law, which he said was not up to the level of the aspirations of the Lebanese, but it was voted unanimously by the members of Parliament, who represent the people. It was necessary to respect this expression of constitutionality, he said.The president -- who is to visit Italy and the Vatican in a few days -- assured his visitors that the elections would take place as scheduled and stressed the need to respect their results, before announcing that a procedure was being established for the appointment of top-level civil servants, so that the appointments are made in a sound way, on the basis of criteria of competence and equality of opportunity.
On the dialogue conference, the president said he believed it was possible the meeting could have a larger number of participants, but on condition that all the participants agree and that the number of those taking part is limited and reasonable.On the subject of the reconciliations, the president argued that an important step forward had been taken on this level, notably on the Christian level.
Asked if he intended to have a parliamentary bloc, he replied, I’m a consensual president for the whole country. But that doesn’t prevent the presence of independents. It’s not necessary for them to be friends of the Administration, but rather friends of the country. I don’t need a parliamentary bloc, but a national parliamentary bloc that places the national interest above everything else and which stands behind the country, not behind the president.In the evening, the president spoke with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, reportedly on the matter of appointments. The prime minister told reporters that following the president’s return from Italy and his own return from two quick visits to Kuwait and Cairo, the Council of Ministers would hold several meetings to discuss the budget, problems affecting the regions, the projects of the Council of Development and Reconstruction and the activities of the Higher Relief Committee.Asked about the Iraqi government’s donation of two million dollars to assist Iraqis who had taken refuge in Lebanon, Saniora confirmed that the Council of Ministers had accepted this money and has placed it in an account in the central bank, where it still is.
The rebellion of Deputy Prime Minister Issam Abou-Jamra, who is insisting on his prerogatives, was at the center of a meeting in the prime minister’s office between Saniora and Abou-Jamra, after mediation by Minister Ibrahim Shamseddin, in the presence of the latter. Following the meeting, Abou-Jamra said that what happened on Tuesday night [when he had left a cabinet meeting in protest against the reluctance of the authorities to acknowledge his claims for wider authority] was a withdrawal, not a boycott. He stressed that the meeting with Saniora served as an exchange of viewpoints and an attempt to resolve the problems concerning an important topic, namely the by-laws of the Council of Ministers.Asked about the result of the meeting, Abou-Jamra said it was neither positive nor negative, adding that what happened in the cabinet is not necessarily the cause of animosity or a rupture with anyone… We’ve agreed since Doha that the state must continue to function…The Doha Agreement stipulates that there should be no boycotts of or resignations from the national unity government.Questioned on the Abou-Jamra affair by a journalist following a meeting with Sleiman, Saniora stressed the necessity of coordination among all the ministries and with the deputy prime minister, who has a value added, but in conformity with the Constitution.After meeting with Saniora, Farid Makari, deputy House speaker and like Abou-Jamra a Greek Orthodox, told reporters he had raised the matter of redynamizing the Orthodox role in the key posts of the state.
In comments to journalists, Abou-Jamra -- a member of the parliamentary Bloc of Reform and Change led by General Michel Aoun – said the deputy prime minister should be a real deputy to the prime minister, adding that the law should be amended to allow the deputy prime minister to chair cabinet sessions and to exercise the premier’s powers in the prime minister’s absence as well as have an office at the Grand Serail.
In comments to the LBCI TV station, Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar said the position of deputy prime minister was not mentioned in the Constitution. And MP Hagop Pakradounian indicated that the subject of the deputy prime minister’s prerogatives has no constitutional character, but is rather a matter of practice that has existed since 1943.Lebanese Forces (LF) MP Antoine Zahra, questioned on why he had not commented on the matter, replied that this crisis has been provoked artificially. It is not a political affair and it certainly isn’t a Christian affair. And another LF MP, Farid Habib, suggested that all the talk about the matter was being used to cover [MP Michel] Aoun’s visit to Teheran.On Friday afternoon, however, some arrangement seems to have been reached after a meeting between the prime minister and Abou-Jamra from which the latter emerged seemingly satisfied.
The Quebec summit
A high point on the country’s political and cultural calendar is the biannual summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie, (IOF) bringing together countries in which French is either the major language or -- as in Lebanon -- a language of exceptional importance on the cultural, scientific and business levels.
Having missed the previous two IOF summits, that of Ouagadougou and of Bucharest, Lebanon -- i.e. its president -- was granted the right to deliver one of the six addresses at the opening session of the twelfth IOF summit, held in Quebec City on October 17 and 18.President Sleiman’s speech, the fourth on the list, dealt with a number of subjects, including the beneficial presence of IOF observers at recent Lebanese elections, the deforestation of the country, Lebanon’s vocation as a center of religions, cultures and civilizations, but also its need for peace.He also requested the world’s French-speaking community to support the independence and stability of a prosperous Lebanon, and that community’s greater involvement in the peacekeeping operations. He ended his speech by recalling the Francophonie Games to take place in Beirut (September 27 to October 6, 2009), after Culture Minister had a day earlier promised that Lebanon would guarantee the safety of the athletes and performing artists who took part, and that Beirut could lay on a security deployment at least as intensive as that at the Quebec summit.The president was unable to attend the discussions on the French language on Sunday morning, but met with Abdou Diouf, to whom he announced, according to Dr. Khalil Karam, that Lebanon proposed to establish an observatory of the French language and to bring together all the actors on the French-speaking scene in the Middle East.Dr. Karam, personal representative of President Sleiman for Francophonie affairs, added that the president had congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beirut (1958-2008) and had obtained from him unlimited backing for the holding of the Francophonie Games.
President Sleiman was however unable to attend a breakfast hosted by the premier of New Brunswick, Mr. Shawn, co-host of the summit, for Stephen Harper, Quebec Premier Jean Charest and other Canadian provincial premiers. President Sleiman traveled to Montreal, Canada’s second-largest city, where he attended a religious service at St. Maroun’s Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Joseph Maroun with the help of the local Greek Catholic bishop, Ibrahim Ibrahim. Also present were sheikhs Saïd Fawaz, a Sunnite, Hassan Ezzeddin, a Druze, and Sayed Nabil Abbas, a Shiite. He subsequently received Arab ambassadors as well as members of the Canadian Parliament of Lebanese origin, before meeting with members of the local Lebanese community at the Intercontinental Hotel, one of the city’s most luxurious. Members of the community responded with enthusiasm to the invitation of Ambassador Massoud Maalouf, in cooperation with Khalil Habr, consul-general in Montreal. It was no ordinary thing for members of the Lebanese community to meet with a Lebanese president who had come to see them in their exile, and General Sleiman did not disappoint them. He received a standing ovation by the crowd in the elegant Salle St-Laurent, and his bodyguards had great difficulty in clearing a way for him through the crowd. Preceded by the director of protocol at the presidential palace, the president and his wife joined ministers Fawzi Salloukh (Foreign Affairs), Nassib Lahoud (minister of State) and Tammam Salam (Culture), while all present, belonging to all Lebanese communities, sang the national anthem with gusto.
The president told them he brought with him the greetings of every part of Lebanon -- the Kannoubin Valley, the Bekaa, the South, the Mountain and Beirut, showing by these brief and simple words that he represented all Lebanon. He then reiterated the pride he felt that Lebanon’s expatriates had raised so high the image and name of their country in North America as doctors, engineers, businessmen, politicians, lawyers and a variety of other callings. He congratulated them on their hard work and success, and especially for bearing witness to their homeland’s culture of openness and dialogue. It is the image of our Lebanon… a message of civilization which has been distorted… but which has been able to withstand attempts to disfigure it, thanks to the support of the Lebanese.He acknowledged that the way ahead would be long and would demand still more sacrifices. We still need the kind of energy you showed when you ventured forth boldly on the uncertain path of emigration. But this time for your country, to make it once more the Switzerland of the Middle East.
He told them Lebanon’s banking system was sound and stable, despite the financial crisis shaking the planet. Indeed, deposits in our banks have even increased, as have conversions of dollars into Lebanese pounds. Investments are still flowing into Lebanon and I predict a golden age in the not-distant future.We want to return Lebanon to its people, to its emigrants, and be able to say to them: Return to Lebanon.And he repeated, The way will be long, but we are doing all we can to consolidate the dialogue… to bring our cause to those who can help us… and wherever we have gone, we have received frank and sincere support. Recalling that reconciliation is a national duty, he cited as examples of national unity first the beatification of Father Yaakoub in Martyrs’ Square on June 22, then the formal opening of the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in the same place on October 18. We could sense this same unity in St. Maroun’s Church this morning, where sheikhs were present among the Christian prelates…The state has a great duty, and we are going to try to achieve what you are waiting for. We have decided to insert in the electoral law a provision giving emigrants the right to vote in Lebanon’s elections…
Interrupted by applause, the president continued: But its application will require some time. Let us hope that it will be attained in 2013. He also reaffirmed the special facilities of work for emigrants who return to the homeland, and spoke of the reopening of the dossier of the naturalizations in such a way as to all their rights. He noted points discussed at the summit, including a direct Montreal-Beirut flight and establishment of a zone of free exchange between Canada and Lebanon, and asked those present to assist in accomplishing these objectives. He ended by stressing the solidarity of the Lebanese and the confidence he had in them.
During his stay in Montreal, President Sleiman received a visit from Canadian MP Maria Mourani, who had just been elected to a seat in the Canadian Parliament. His discussion with Ms. Mourani -- whose family hails from the Akkar District of North Lebanon -- focused on the establishment of a direct Montreal-Beirut flight, bilateral trade (the embassy in Ottawa still has no commercial attaché, despite the presence of almost half a million Lebanese living in Canada), and the question of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. It was in the early evening that the Lebanese delegation came together at Dorval Airport, with strict security in force, closing a short stay, but one of great emotion and the bearer of great hopes.
Don't Close The Door On Free Trade Dan Brutto 10.24.08, 12:00 AM ET
In the midst of the financial crisis, another threat is nipping at the global economy's heels: the re-emergence of protectionism.Both the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy and the outgoing European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson are among those warning that the economic troubles could breed protectionism, which would curtail economic growth when we need it most.
These admonitions come on the heels of the breakdown of the Doha round of trade talks and after much public rancor over pacts including the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.Nothing would be worse for the global economy than responding to the current crisis by closing the doors of opportunity that free trade unlocks. Free trade fuels momentous, positive change. According to the WTO, cutting trade barriers in agriculture, manufacturing and services by one-third would boost the world economy by $613 billion--that's equivalent to adding an economy the size of Canada's to the global marketplace. Free trade raises income--just look no further than the clear emergence of China and India's middle class for proof. In the U.S., exports have created 12 million jobs. Beyond the economic benefits, free trade, if pursued with a long-term, fair and sustainable approach, can also build bridges among people and nations. At a time when the world seems constantly on edge, global trade presents a unique opportunity to help us overcome some of our differences and problems, whatever they may be. One of the many lessons today's turmoil offers is that a company's success should be viewed in decades, not quarters. Having a long-term vision and the commitment to stick with it--fine-tuning as needed--sustains a company through downturns and propels steady growth.Investing for the long haul was UPS's (nyse: UPS - news - people ) approach to building its international operations, which began in earnest 20 years ago this month. Our decision to go global was met initially with some internal skepticism, in part because our leaders knew it was going to be a very expensive and labor-intensive proposition.They also recognized that it represented a big departure from our core competency as a domestic delivery service, but ultimately our executives did not waver from their vision of building an international company. As the Berlin Wall fell and China began to open its doors, they saw the emergence of a global economy. They knew that if UPS didn't adapt and become global itself, it would become irrelevant.
Today, the once-questioned decision to go global is helping to insulate UPS against the U.S. economic downturn. In part that's because many of our customers are experiencing tremendous growth even in these difficult times, because they're growing global businesses.When U.S. companies grow internationally, they learn that long-term relationships are imperative to doing business around the world. Following the demise of some of Wall Street's most trusted names, I believe that business relationships are going to take on even more importance. For multinational companies, hiring locally wherever they operate is a key part of forging these relationships.When UPS first set up operations around the world, we made the mistake of sending in large groups of U.S. expatriates to run the business. But we soon realized that we would not succeed without local knowledge and relationships. UPS's philosophy of developing home-grown talent and promotion from within has helped us establish a sustainable and community-conscious business model, while providing us a deep bench of talent that understands the local culture, language and business values.That, in turn, has earned UPS the trust of the communities we serve. For example, 99% of our 5,500 employees in China are Chinese nationals. That played a big role in China's selection of UPS as the official logistics and express delivery sponsor of the Beijing Olympics.While much of the world's trade growth has come as a result of shipping lower-cost goods from emerging markets to mature ones, higher fuel costs are shifting this pattern. Businesses in the European Union and the U.S. are finding it more cost effective to source their products from nearby locations in Eastern Europe or Mexico, respectively, forming a new trend called near-sourcing. This is helping companies better distribute risk, which is an important part of financial growth and stability. And it's also providing new opportunities. For example, in Mexico, the best-paying jobs now are export-related.Sectors that export 60% or more of their production pay Mexican workers wages that are 39% higher than the rest of the economy, and maquiladora plants typically pay 3.5 times the Mexican minimum wage. These new economic opportunities can serve as a catalyst for educational development, positive political and regulatory reforms and social stability--all of which benefit us collectively.The root cause of Wall Street's recent problems, and ultimately those of the world's financial institutions, won't be solved by global trade. But the ripple effect of those problems--which have been felt by virtually everyone on the planet--can be mitigated by ensuring the free flow of goods, information and funds around the world. Protectionism is a misnomer, as trade barriers don't protect. The world is already so integrated economically that the greatest force impacting the greatest number of lives is business. How we react to our current challenges will be critical to our future. Let us keep the doors open.
Dan Brutto is the president of UPS International.
New world order for migrants needed: TU leader by MARIA ALETA O. NIEVA, abs-cbnNEWS.com | 10/28/2008 12:47 AM
Some 20 million workers around the world are expected to lose their jobs due to the current global financial crisis.We’ve got a very great fear for the tens of millions of workers who will lose their jobs. We believe that we will see the impoverishment of workers who will live on less than $2 a day rise by about 40 million, said Sharan Burrow, president of the International Trade Union Confederation.Burrow is also conference chairperson of the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development’s (GFMD) Civil Society Days being held in Manila from October 27 to 28.Burrow said the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the present financial crisis is likely to lead to the loss of some 20 million jobs worldwide.According to Burrow, the ILO said that the number or working poor living on less than a dollar a day could rise by some 40 million, and those at US$2 a day, by more than 100 million.
Asian crisis lessons
Burrow said the first who will lose their jobs will be migrant workers. This was the experience during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.This is true as sectors such a construction is being hard-hit, a sector where migrant workers are numerous. During the Asian crisis in 1997, the first reaction of governments was to announce the expulsion of migrant workers to free up jobs for nationals. Last week, in the wake of the global financial crisis, a number of governments’ announced a possible tightening of their immigration intake, she said.We urge governments to think carefully about whether that’s the right economic decision, because it can, of course, constrain economies where those migrants currently live and work, and we know that for developing countries, the financial crisis will be even deeper and felt more strongly, she added. There is a possibility that migrant workers will be forced to work illegally in other countries.There is no question that people take up other jobs in other countries for a number of reasons. In a global financial crisis, if jobs are threatened, if regular channels of migration are constrained, then clearly, that will see an increase in people desperate to make an income working without documentation in many nations, she said.
Migrants first out
There are about 40 million undocumented workers in the world with 10 million alone in the US.We’re very fearful that unless governments are conscious of the fact that, migrant workers will be on the top of the list, Burrow said.She explained that expanding regular migration, protecting rights and ensuring equal treatment and the policy coherence that world leaders must take on are some of the issues to be tackled during the two-day conference.Migration is a permanent feature of each of our nations and indeed of globalization. But all too often, we forget that it is about people, working people and their families. And hence, at its core, migration must be about human rights and dignity, she said.
Protective global architecture
The global financial crisis and climate change are critical threats to world order, which require new rules, new transparency and a new global architecture, she said.
The challenge is no less for the world leaders to ensure that the potential for the mobility of the world's people, a mobility that is born of choice and not desperation, a mobility that provides opportunities and not exploitation, is framed by a new architecture of protection, she said.Migrant workers are often seen as second-class citizens who are forced to work for their survival. Even documented workers still do not receive equal treatment, she said.We have to find a new set of rules, a global architecture for protection that guarantees equal treatment that expands regular migration channels that gives us coherence within nation and across nations to ensure that migration is based on choice, she said.as of 10/28/2008 12:47 AM
Don't Sign EPA - TUC Urges Gov't By Francis Asamoah Tuffour
Wednesday, 01 October 2008
THE Trades Union Congress, has cautioned of the dangers involved in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and appealed to the government not to sign it.
The EPA is a scheme instituted by the European Union to create a free trade area between European and ACP countries.The country stands to lose huge sums of revenue as a result of tariffs imposed on imported goods, loss of jobs, massive unemployment as well as collapse of local industries if Ghana should sign the agreement, says Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the TUC.Mr Asamoah gave the advice on Monday at a durbar prior to a peaceful demonstration organised by civil society organisations, farmers and pressure groups in Accra, ahead of the African Carribean and Pacific (ACP) European Union meeting which opens in Accra tomorrow.The demonstrators, carried placards such as EPA is bad, do not sign it, It is dangerous to sign the EPA, EPA is a killer, EPA is indirectly a slave trade and Our industries will collapse if we agree, to sign it, among others.Mr Asamoah, argued that if the agreements is signed, "Ghana and for that matter ACP countries, will open their borders to goods from the European markets and such goods will enter freely without the imposition of taxes.When that happens, it will open the flood gates to sub-standard and fake goods which will also make it difficult to be regulated.The Ghana Trades Union Congress and its affiliates, in partnership with the larger civil society movement in Ghana, and across Africa are calling on the leadership of the ACP to take a second look at the agreement.We ask the ACP to note that free market principles on which the EPAs rest have for the past three decades failed to deliver the promised prosperity. Instead, free markets have led to sharp declines in employment and information of work, and continue to wipe out the livelihood of the majority of people across our countries.
Mr Asamoah said, We draw attention to the fact that the EPAs are nothing more than free trade agreements between the largest trading bloc in the world and, perhaps, the least in terms of world commerce - Africa.He said the Union has a strong stand against the signing of the EPA which the government must adhere to.Later at a news briefing, the programme coordinator of Third World Network, a civil society organisation, Mr Gyekye Tanoh, said African countries stood to lose about two million dollars a year if it signed the agreement, adding that Ghana stands to lose about 162 million dollars if it goes ahead to sign it.He urged civil society organisations, the media and other organisations to join the campaign against the EPA.
Finn’s Facts: The ACP bloc should abandon the EPA negotiations FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE DAR ES SALAAM
LAST week Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda attended an African Caribbean and Pacific countries summit held in Accra, Ghana to represent President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who was in New York attending the UN General Assembly. In their statement at the end of the 6th summit of ACP heads of state and government, the leaders of 79 countries accused the European Union through its executive arm, the European Commission, of pushing them to sign the controversial free trade pacts while applying the colonial divide and rule tactics. The EU which has maintained colonial model ties with the ACP bloc since 1975 when the first Lome Convention was signed in the Togolese capital, is pushing the group of poor countries to sign the controversial trade pacts called economic partnership agreements. The EU, which is negotiating the EPAs through the EC, has argued that the controversial trade pacts are important to help integrate the tiny ACP bloc economies into the global market whose rules are supervised by the World Trade Organization (WTO). In his speech at the summit, Mr Pinda accused the EU of disintegrating ACP countries by fragmenting them into several regional blocs including the recently carved, East African Community (EAC) bloc to which Tanzania belongs. A faulty and highly controversial framework agreement on EPA was signed between the EC and the EAC bloc in Kampala, Uganda last year. Among other sensitive issues included in the framework agreement are those which have been stalled at WTO since 2001 when the then Minister for Trade and Industry, Idd Mohammed Simba led a group of 40 poor countries to block an attempt by rich countries led by the United States and Europe to push for a global free trade.
Under the controversial FAEPA, the EC is pushing EAC countries to open up their markets by removing tariffs in a trade reciprocity model which will mean that other developed countries like the US and Japan will have to get the same access to our domestic markets to comply with WTO rules on non- discrimination among its 140 members. Such a move will deplete government revenue, suffocate and ultimately eliminate our infant industries while turning this country into a net aid recipient. After over two and a half decades of working with the so-called donors, most Tanzanians now know why this country’s first President the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere meant by refusing to work with them if given conditions.
Currently, the so-called donors who include the EU wield a lot of powers in the decision making process of this country, often outdoing the majority taxpayers who pay over 60 per cent of the annual budget compared to less than 40 per cent by the donors. What the EU wants to do now through EPAs is to make sure that over 50 per cent of the budget is financed by donations while the domestic market is flooded with heavily subsidized European, American and Japanese goods which will come in duty free as per applicable WTO rules. The Europeans who are behind stalled WTO negotiations of having a new round of global trade due to their selfish positions with the Americans (the US) to continue subsidizing their inefficient agriculture sector, have included a clause in FAEPA where they want an endorsement of the subs by ACP countries which may mean that over 100 WTO members belonging to the ACP-EU bloc, have approved such treacherous incentives. The Europeans also want transparency in government procurement; trade in services, investment guarantees to be discussed through FAEPA before July next year when a comprehensive EPA agreement will be signed with the EAC. Brussels argues that EPAs are not exploitative colonial model trade pacts but development tools which will help fight poverty, preserve the environment and integrate our tiny economies into the global economy. The irony is the EC has also included a clause in FAEPA which wants EAC countries not to charge duty on raw material exports which their industries need while proposing the end products to come in duty free and this will help end poverty! The way forward for ACP countries is to abandon this fraudulent and corrupted process of negotiating EPAs and resort to a more democratic and fairly organized WTO process where there are no threats and intimidation.
UAE Minister of Foreign Trade H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi receives French Minister of State Anne-Marie Idrac21 October 2008
Ministers discuss stronger economic ties to eclipse 2007 USD 6.3 billion bilateral trade, signing of GCC-EU Free Trade Agreement UAE Minister of Foreign Trade H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi has today (Tuesday, October 21, 2008) received a French delegation headed by French Minister of State Anne-Marie Idrac to discuss the strengthening of strategic and economic ties which, among others, would help surpass the USD 6.3 billion bilateral trade engaged in by the UAE in France in 2007 and expedite the signing of a vital Free Trade Agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU). The visit is part of a four-day tour of key GCC countries that started October 19, 2008 and wrapping up on October 22, 2008, which will cover the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Oman. France will capitalize on its current presidency of the EU to broker a faster conclusion to the round of talks that will lead to the eventual signing of a GCC-EU FTA. Minister Idrac has already met the Secretary General of the GCC and will discuss matters related to this goal with the Foreign and Trade Ministers of all four countries. The FTA is of prime importance as trade volumes between both economic blocs have doubled in the past five years and currently amount to more than USD 141 billion. The GCC is Europe's sixth largest export market, while the EU is the GCC's first trading partner.As one of the world's top import and export destinations, France is a vital ally in our quest for sustainable growth. The visit of H.E. Idrac is a welcome affirmation of our mutual commitment to higher levels of collaboration in areas which we believe are crucial to national development. It also reflects the Ministry's eagerness to expand its international economic relations, with France and with the broader European Union with which we as a primary member of the Gulf Cooperation Council hope to secure a crucial Free Trade Agreement with in the near future, said H.E. Sheikha Lubna.
Minister Idrac will be accompanied by Philippe Favre, Ambassador-at-large for international investments and President of the Invest in France Agency (IFA), who will promote France as a favourable investment destination for Gulf countries. Other officials forming the French delegation include Mr. Jean-Louis Bernard, Member of the French Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the UAE-France Friendship Committee; Mr. Alain Cousin, Member of the French Parliament and Chairman of Ubifrance; and Mr. Nicolas Wawreski, Economic Counselor of the Cabinet of the Minster of State for Foreign Trade. The French Minister will also formally launch the regional IFA office which began operations in September 1, 2008. The office will focus on enhancing coordination between institutional French executives receiving request from Gulf clients; developing a privileged relation with local investors to orient their investments towards France; and promoting investment opportunities in France complementing the specific needs and expectations of Gulf organizations. The French delegation will meet officials overseeing major infrastructural projects, including the President of the Abu Dhabi Transport Department and the Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai. They will also interact with leading local businessmen and discuss key developments such as the UAE electronuclear project, the inter-Emirates railway, and Dubai's new underground railway. A high-ranking commercial team from the French group was able to meet with H.E. Sheikha Lubna on the sidelines of today's meeting during which the UAE official provided an overview of the national economy and the local opportunities available to French investors.We are overwhelmed by the warm reception extended by H.E. Sheikha Lubna and the genuine interest expressed by UAE investors in France's own business prospects, especially in the real estate field. We hope that UAE officials, investors and business interests can come and visit our country soon as well, so that we can return the gesture. This has truly been a productive movement towards our enhanced relations, concluded Minister Idrac.UAE imports from France rose 11 per cent between 2003 and 2007, while re-exports from the European nation also grew 31 per cent during the same period. Almost 80 per cent of the UAE's French trade was imports, while 21 per cent was exports and re-exports. Last January 2008, both countries signed several agreements to further expand economic relations, a highlight of which was a framework for cooperation on the evaluation and potential use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Among the other areas covered by the accords are basic and applied research, water desalination, agronomy, medicine, earth sciences and industry.France and the UAE have inked several Memoranda of Understanding ranging from intellectual property rights to transport and education. The two nations share similarities in their economic structure, as they are both dependent on the services and industries sectors. They are also strong performers in the World Trade Organization's latest list of top 30 trading companies in the world. France's recent assumption of the EU Presidency is perceived by many quarters as an opportunity for the UAE to collaborate with France on the former's enhanced presence in the European trade and economic arena. - Ends -
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