Anti-terror summit ends in Morocco

By David Bamford, BBC, Friday 26 October 2001, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK

Foreign Ministers from seven European and North African states have ended a two day meeting in the Moroccan resort of Agadir, the first such conference involving Western and Arab governments since the start of the US led action against international terrorism.

The ministers who met under the Euro-Mediterranean Forum, created in 1994, agreed on a series of measures to improve understanding between their cultures.

The current chairman of the Mediterranean Forum, Greek Foreign Minister Georges Papandreou, said the participants had worked towards denying a clash of cultures and instead encouraging a dialogue of cultures.


A series of measures have been agreed, on the practical side, the drawing up of a code of conduct that will help European and Arab countries establish common practices aimed at undermining terrorism.

This includes aspects such as money laundering prevention, and security enforcement.

But the thrust of the meeting seems to have been more on a cultural level, on ways of promoting understanding.

The aim is to expand the Euro-Mediterranean process to incorporate the European Union as a whole and the Arab League and Islamic Conference organisation.

Ministers accepted a proposal by French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine that a Euro-Arab conference be held in Greece, in which the foreign ministers, each bring with them two academics or writers who can express and explain more fully the nature of their societies.

The process of greater understanding should incorporate consideration of the way each society teaches their children about the other, and the way books portray the history of Europe and the Arab world.

The ministers agreed to hold a wider international conference to come up with a common definition of terrorism, and a no-hold barred examination of the root causes of terrorism and how to deal with them.