Conference on African-Arab Relations, May 2-3, 1980.
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV WASHINGTON DC
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The two-day conference organized by INR and sponsored by two bureaus of the Department of State, the Bureau of African Affairs and the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, covered a broad gamut of subject matter. Conceptually the conference was convened to address four broad subjects cultural and institutional linkages between the Arab world and Black Africa interregional security issues Trans-Saharan ties and tensions and evolving economic relationships, private, governmental, and multilateral. The basic theme to emerge stressed the dichotomy between tension and cooperation which often characterizes Arab-Black-African relations. Tensions today are the legacy of history, inter-Arab conflicts, the Arab struggle for paramount influence in Sub-Saharan Africa, the ill effects of the rising cost of energy, and Black African disappointment with what is felt to be Arab parsimony in the provision of economic and financial assistance to hard-pressed African nations. At the opposite end of the spectrum, solidarity in the international arena on such issues as Palestine, South Africa, and Namibia suggest fertile areas for mutual cooperation. Moreover, the level of Arab aid to Africa is increasing, albeit after several faltering, uncertain initiatives by Arab investors.
- Government and Political Science