Beirut: Lebanese President Michel Aoun has called for launching a common market to address the food shortage in the Arab region in light of the global crisis caused by the Ukraine-Russia war.
“Arab countries must cooperate to secure food and agricultural products for our people amid the current crisis,” Aoun was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Presidency.
The President’s remarks came during his meeting with Agriculture Ministers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, who attended the Arab Agricultural Ministerial Conference in Beirut to discuss the potential of cooperation among regional countries to achieve food security, reports Xinhua news agency.
Aoun emphasised the need to launch a joint calendar for agricultural production and distribution in the region, which would allow Arab countries to better export their products.
Lebanese Agriculture Minister Abbas Hajj Hassan said that this country, Syria, Jordan and Iraq agreed to sign a quartet agreement to achieve agricultural integration by removing trade obstacles, which would encourage other countries in the region to follow suit.
Meanwhile, Syrian Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Mohammed Hassan Qatana said that the four countries agreed to unify standard specifications and various technical and administrative procedures to facilitate agricultural trade among these countries.
Qatana said that “our ambition is to include the largest number of Arab countries in this alliance and to strengthen relations at the agricultural level”.
Jordanian Minister of Agriculture Khaled Hneifat stressed the importance of the Arab countries tackling the challenges in the agricultural sector as well as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic in a collective manner.