CAIRO Ñ The Arab League has launched a drive to unify member efforts
against insurgency and organized crime.
Officials said Arab countries have sought to increase cooperation
against organized crime and insurgency as part of the U.S.-led war against
terrorism and a drive to woo foreign investors to the Middle East. The
counterinsurgency drive has been coordinated with Arab League interior
ministers and information ministers.
The issue was discussed during a meeting by Arab League justice
ministers in Cairo on Tuesday, Middle East Newsline reported. In a meeting of the executive, the justice
ministers reviewed measures for joint investigation and extradition to
improve coordination against organized crime and insurgency. The executive
consists of justice ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,
Sudan and Syria.
In a meeting chaired by Egyptian Justice Minister Farouq Seif Nasser,
the ministers expressed support for expanded cooperation with Arab interior
ministers in the anti-crime campaign. They also pledged to increase
cooperation and coordination with regional and international law enforcement
The Arab League campaign against organized crime and insurgency includes
a drive to standardize Arab penal law and procedures. The justice ministers
also discussed the introduction of information technology to help in the
location of suspects.
In 1998, Arab League members signed an agreement for cooperation against
terrorism. Several members, including Syria, said they have insisted that
terrorism does not include attacks on civilians in Israel.
In a communique that ended their meeting, the justice ministers
expressed support for Iraq and voiced hope that it will establish a legal
system in wake of the downfall of the regime of President Saddam Hussein.
The ministers offered to help Iraq in the effort.