Arab Countries Criticized For Lack Of Pragmatism In Security Cooperation

RIYADH, 17 February 2004 — Senior officials and experts of the ministries of interior and information together with those from universities in Arab countries called on their governments to forge solidarity to combat terrorism and organized crime on a regional level. The call was made here yesterday at a seminar hosted by Naif Arab Academy for Security Sciences to discuss as how information exchange can help to fight terrorism in Arab countries.

Some delegates attending the event, however, criticized Arab nations, saying that the existing security cooperation among Arab countries and their law enforcement agencies lack pragmatism and have failed to ensure exchange of security information in practical terms. The inaugural session of the packed three-day seminar was attended by delegates from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco.

Representing the Saudi Ministry of Interior, Saleh ibn Mohammed Al-Malek said the three-day event was expected to bolster security cooperation. Delegates representing various Arab countries will present 10 study papers.

A regional organization enjoying an autonomous status and accredited by the United Nations, NAASS has organized many similar events and introduced a number of study programs.

“It also seeks to fulfill the needs of the Arab law enforcement agencies for an academic institution that promotes research on security issues, offers postgraduate programs and conducts short training courses that contribute to the prevention and control of terrorism and crime in the Arab countries,” said Dr. Ali ibn Fayez Al-Jahny, dean of Studies and Research Center at NAASS and a key participant in the event.

Dr. Abdul Rahim N. Hamid, a delegate from the University of Qatar, presented a paper on Arab security information program with special reference to satellite communication and Internet. “In this age of globalization, Arab countries will have to map out a comprehensive strategy as how to curb terror attacks, how to promote a better self image, solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, handle the subject of the freedom of the press and address properly the challenges of democracy,” Dr. Hamid said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar, Dr Al-Jahny announced the commencement of a PhD program in security sciences at NAASS next semester. “The research programs, events and studies at NAASS will help Arab countries in dealing with crime, sharing information about modus operandi of terror attacks, trafficking of human beings and smuggling of narcotics,” he said.

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