Tunisia has been chosen as venue for next Arab summit in 2015
Arab leaders concluded their two-day Arab Economic and Social Development summit in Riyadh on Tuesday by endorsing the Riyadh declaration, which focused as a whole on fostering Arab cooperation in various fields
The participants also agreed that the next summit will be held in Tunisia in 2015.
On the second-day of the summit, President of the Comoros, Ikililo Dhonine, called on Arab countries to use their resources in a way which could benefit neighbouring countries and double pan-Arab investment.
Dhonine emphasised the importance of the Riyadh summit, which tackled several key files in the economic and social domains, mainly following up decisions of the 2009 and 2011 summits in Kuwait and Sharm el-Sheikh.
For his part, Yemeni President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi, noted that the right diagnosis is the way to remedy economic problems in the Arab region.
Hadi said that this summit is an opportunity to review some of the policies and measures on using Arab manpower, increasing pan-Arab investments, and supporting the private sector.
He said that the current summit is a "positive step" towards achieving more sustainable development in the region which was swept by several political and economic transformations.
The Yemeni leader called for unifying Arab efforts toward achieving projects in renewable energies, linking land road, increasing inter-Arab trade, concluding a custom union, the Arabisation of the internet, and establishing a joint Arab stock market.
Speaker of Algeria's Council of Nations Abdelkader Bensalah said that the Riyadh summit comes at a time of the global financial meltdown which adversely affected the Arab region.
Bensalah said that this summit will be a "distinguished station" for Arab economic and social cooperation and integration, mainly in the field of investment and trade.
He called for developing the uses of renewable energy, endorsing the unified agreement on investment, and fighting unemployment and poverty.
He highlighted the great suffering of the Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation.
Bensalah said that wars and conflicts are considered main obstacles that hinder development in any society.
Dr Khodayer Al-Khozai, Iraqi Vice-President, meanwhile said that the development summit marks a "promising" start for Arab cooperation and solidarity.
Khozai voiced hope that the summit would endorse programs on reducing unemployment, creating job opportunities, and establishing specialised institutions for training and rehabilitating Arab youth and supporting scientific research.
He also called for revising investment legislation, easing the flow of capital among Arab countries, and fighting terror.
Khozai emphasized the need to strengthen the role of women by granting them full civil rights and improving the level of education to higher to match those in advanced nations.
Libyan First Deputy Premier Sadiq Abdulkarim Abdulrahman said that the Arab mind is the greatest investment and should be used to the fullest.
He said the "new Libya" works for stronger ties with Arab states.
On Monday, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said Arab nations need to come together to form and "Arab common market." At the opening of the summit, he urged Arab nations to "catch up" in the realm of free trade. "Very little has been done to improve trade between Arab countries," which reportedly comprises no more than 10 percent of total Arab commerce.
Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who stood in for ailing King Abdullah in hosting the summit, highlighted economic and social challenges facing the region and also pointed to weak inter-Arab trade.
"The urgent development issues that face our countries are very difficult, including poverty, unemployment and disease. Efforts must be made to confront and eliminate them," he said.
Sources: KUNA, AFP