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Arab League Minister Discuss New PR Strategy - 2001-08-15

Arab League Information Ministers held an emergency meeting in Cairo Wednesday. They discussed formulating a more unified voice concerning the crisis in the Middle East.

The Arab League ministers say they want a more coherent plan for Arab nations to speak with greater unity about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

Arab League spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi said Arab nations, while speaking out against violence in the Middle East, should do much more than talk when it comes to supporting the peace process. "We need much greater involvement," Ms. Ashrawi said. "The arab world is involved, but is it involved enough? What are the decisions that they are taking? What kind of interventions are being done?" Mrs. Ashrawi said the Arab League Information Ministers feel Israel is effectively using the media to "perpetuate lies regarding the situation in the Middle East."

Specifically Mrs. Ashrawi said Israel has been portraying Palestinians as terrorists who are unwilling to negotiate peace. She said the Arab League would be formulating its own public relations strategy aimed at greater global communication of the plight of the Palestinians, although no specifics to such a plan were revealed.