Arab states insist they will bein Frankfurt for book fair
19 August 2004 , CAIRO - Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa sought Thursday to quell rising doubts about Arab participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, set to take place in October.
19 August 2004
CAIRO - Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa sought Thursday to quell rising doubts about Arab participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, set to take place in October.
Speaking to reporters, Mussa said several Arab culture ministers would attend. The announcement came after two days of discussion among Arab League members to assign tasks and responsibilities to different Arab countries. Twenty-two Arab League member countries are set to attend this year's book fair.
"This news conference was held to respond to reports that expressed doubts that Arabs would go to Frankfurt," said Talaat Hamed, Arab League coordinator for the book fair.
According to recent reports, several Arab countries have not yet paid fees and risked an Arab no-show.
"We are not going to discuss the financing. Whether the money is enough or not, we are going," Hamed told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa.
Hamed said many Arab countries have actually paid their fees for the book fair, the latest being the United Arab Emirates.
"There are also many individuals and associations that have sent money," he said, but declined to elaborate.
More than 200 Arab writers, poets, artists and politicians are expected to attend the book fair which takes place with the Arab World Guest of Honour and under the theme "Visions of the Future".
Arabs will have 4,000 square metres in exhibition space and the attendance list includes 212 personalities from most Arab countries.
While only 17 out of 22 Arab countries will officially attend the world's largest book fair, authors from other Arab countries will also participate.
The countries not officially participating include Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya and Morocco.
In February this year, criticism over Arab ability to organise such an event dominated the media.
Such doubts were compounded by increasing reports of lacking funds. Last month, Mussa donated USD 60,000 (EUR50,000) towards the presentation at the book fair, announcing defiantly that Arabs will go to Frankfurt.
Subject: German news