Dec 20 - 26, 2004


















"DUBAI PORTS ARE THE FIRST IN THE MIDDLE EAST to join a US-led maritime anti-terrorist effort."



(Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), and Robert C. Bonner, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner said after signing a declaration of principles)

"DUBAI WILL BECOME THE ARAB WORLD'S ONLY 'TIGER ECONOMY', If you define a tiger economy as one that has 10 per cent growth over a decade and around 7 to 8 per cent growth for 20 years, then I think Dubai alone will be a tiger economy."

(Dr. Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International responding to a question at the last session of the Arab Strategy Forum)

"There should not be an accidental or unauthorized launch or exchange of nuclear weapons between India and Pakistan, that will cause havoc."

(Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said after two-hour session with his Indian counterpart on 'nuclear confidence building measures)

"Long-term instability in Iraq could give birth to an "Iraqi Hitler" if citizens continue to feel humiliated and despondent, like the one created by the defeat of Germany and the humiliation of Germans in the First World War."

(Iraqi President Gazi Al Yawar talking to the London-based Asharq Al Awsat newspaper)

"I say to my fellow Arabs in charge: If you do not change, you will be changed. If you do not initiate radical changes, responsibly discharge your duties and uphold the principles of truth, justice and responsibility, your people will resent you. More than this, the verdict of history on you will be severe."

(General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, in a strongly worded keynote speech opening the Arab Strategy Forum attended by 1,500 Arab and foreign leaders)

"It has become a convention in Pakistan that the laws are framed not to help and serve the people, but to serve the vested interests, the protest of the human rights groups is unjust. The NGOs have their own pro-western agenda to accomplish."

(Liaquat Baloch, a senior Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) leader supporting the Lahore High Court's verdict striking down a law that banned capital punishment to children saying the government enacted it to appease the West)

"Until 15 years ago, we made much of our earning at weddings. Now we make nothing. I have ensured my sons do not take up this profession as there is nothing in it for anyone."

(A 'shehnai' (flute) player Amanullah complaining in Lahore)

"We will continue to make it clear to both Syria and Iran that ... meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interests."

(US President Bush at the end of a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi)

"With the existing US hostile policies, there are no grounds for negotiations with Washington. If they deal with Iran on the basis of mutual respect and equality, then we would start talks with them like other countries."

(Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi)



"It is reasonable enough to say that this is the figure ($60-$80 billion). The focus has to be on infrastructure and we must consider that the rate of unemployment has reached more than 60 per cent. We have huge potential for development and growth. Regional and Western investments could help lift Iraq's economy and bring in new job opportunities."

(Falah Hassan Al Naqib, the Iraqi Interior Minister)

"Asif Zardari's old passport has expired, therefore we applied for a new one. But a passport department official refused to accept his application, saying that his name was on the exit control list."

(Taj Haider, information secretary of Pakistan Peoples' Party)

"Pakistan and India.... both nuclear countries failed to reach a deal on advance warning of ballistic missile tests."

(Foreign spokesman said after the meeting. Both sides, however, agreed to meet again on the matter)

"If sanctions are applied against the DPRK [North Korea] due to the moves of the ultra-right forces [in Japan], we will regard it as a declaration of war against our country and promptly react to the action by an effective physical method."

(North Korea's Foreign Ministry reacting Japanese statements)