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Press Release 98/28






Cairo, 12 April -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) signed over the weekend a memorandum of understanding for collaboration and coordination to help boost agricultural development activities in the 13 Arab States of Western Asia.

At a meeting held at the FAO Regional Office for the Near East in Cairo, Dr. Atif Bukhari, FAO Representative for the Near East and Dr. Hazem El-Biblawi, Executive Secretary of the United Nations ESCWA signed on behalf of their respective organizations an agreement aimed at enhancing coordination and collaboration in the preparation and implementation of their work plans benefiting Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The agreement, which also calls on both sides to exchange technical information and assist in reviewing and evaluating studies and programs related to the development of agriculture, was signed less than 15 days after the closing in Damascus, Syria of the twenty fourth FAO Regional Conference for the near East where emphasis was placed at the importance of enhancing regional cooperation to overcome common problems and to enhance development in the near East.

Member States of the near East Region commended FAO for its ongoing efforts to foster regional cooperation. In his statement at the Conference, FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf expressed FAO's readiness to assist any new form of regional cooperation aimed at improving food production processes.






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