PARIS (Jul. 31)
Plans for a permanent joint commission to develop long-term economic cooperation were approved here today at a meeting of the nine-nation European Common Market and the 20-nation Arab League. The commission is scheduled to have its first meeting in Nov.
French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues, who led the talks for Euromart as current chairman of the European Community Council of Ministers, said the agreement was an extremely important “political fact.” Mahmoud Riad, Arab League Secretary-General, said the “Arab world” was trying to build a strong base for economic development by combining European technology and Arab capital.
Observers said that the European community, which depends heavily on Arab oil for energy, hopes that offering long-term technological aid to the Arab world will prevent interruption to oil supplies, such as that which occurred during the Yom Kippur War, when the oil-producing Arab nations reduced or halted crude oil shipments to European countries. Even after the oil boycott was ended, soaring oil prices led the European community to seek the agreement with the Arab League reached today.