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|Some cool moves by Arabs|
|08/15/01 at 22:25:06|
|Al hamdu lillah. They have chose to correct the mistakes of the past.|
Arab Media Ministers Discuss Strategies To Highlight Uprising
CAIRO, Aug 15 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - Fourteen Arab ministers of information met Wednesday with the Arab League to discuss public relations strategies and to assess media strategy over the Palestinian uprising, news agencies reported.
The ministers also met with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Hanan Ashrawi, media spokeswoman of the Arab League.
On the meeting's agenda are: the United Arab Emirate's proposal to financially support Palestinian information centers; and an upcoming world tour by Ashrawi - which will include some of the world's major capitals - in an attempt to explain the Palestinian viewpoint to the global community, reported the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Arafat joined the closed-door meeting and told participants that Israel "has plans to ... pursue its project to construct a third Jewish temple," said an official who attended the meeting.
"The Palestinian people will remain united until the Palestinian flag is hoisted over Jerusalem," Arafat was quoted as saying, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Arafat also advised the ministers on U.S. plans to move its embassy to the holy city of Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
"We want to agree on some practical steps to support the Intifada [uprising] and assert the Arab and Palestinian position," to the world, Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo told reporters before the meeting. He did not elaborate further.
Ghazi Aridi, Lebanon's Foreign Minister and meeting chairman, said Arab League information ministers were gathering in response to attempts from "great powers trying to appease Israel at the expense of fairness and justice."
"Arab resources are plentiful," Aridi said, adding that what is needed now "is a formula by which the Palestinian people will feel that we stand by them."
"Israel is using illegal weapons," said Jordanian Information Minister Salah al-Qallab. "This is a practical meeting to correct our mistakes and defend our cause and our rights."
The Arab League meeting followed a declaration by Israel on August 7th that it intends to launch an unprecedented global propaganda blitz, in a bid to reverse what it sees as its rapidly diminishing image following 10-months of conflict with the Palestinians.
High-ranking Israeli officials have been dispatched to France to hire a major public relations firm in order to restore Israel's reputation across Europe, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs' Deputy Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.
Previously, Israel hired a major public relations firm in New York to help "clean up" rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's image in the U.S.
"We believe there's been a devaluation of the image of Israel and we want to restore a more positive image," Nahshon added.
The last meeting of Arab information ministers was held in Beirut last June. During that meeting, the ministers decided on a media strategy that would explain the illegal nature of the U.S. Congress' decision to transfer the U.S. embassy to occupied Jerusalem.
The ministers also spoke about forming an Arab satellite channel in English and other languages that would serve to present Arab issues and causes to the global community. They also spoke about forming an Arab news agency that would further support newscasts with a compilation of pictures.
Media in the Arab world is primarily state-run, giving governments significant control over what is seen, heard, and sent out over terrestrial or satellite stations.
Newspapers, radios and television stations generally support official government policy and information ministers oversee state media policy.
A few homegrown satellite stations, such as the Qatar-based al-Jazeera, offer independent news.
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