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22 July 04


Jews of Libya Seek Reconciliation & a just partnership between Jews & Arabs

The International Convention of Jews of Libya will hold a major press conference in London on Thursday 21st July according to Mr. Zouhir Latif of Multiaction Office, the Conference's Press coordinator.

This Comes in the wake of recent actions by the Libyan authorities which have boosted its standing as a progressive nation seeking to open its doors to the international community and following the lifting of the United Nations 15 year sanctions against the country.

The Jews of Libyan origin, numbering over 130,000 people spread throughout the world, welcomed in particular the positive pronouncements by Seif al Islam Al Gaddafi aimed at a community whose links to Libya go back to the third century BCE.

The Conference will be briefed by Mr. Raphael Fellah, the Chairman of the Convention, who will emphasize the positive role that Jews originating from Arab Countries, can play in building peace and business bridges in the entire Mediterranean area, including the unstable Middle East, through cultural and commercial ventures with their Arab compatriots with whom they share a common culture, language and a long history of cooperation spanning 1,300 years.

Mr. Fellah, a well-known leader of Libyan Jewry with global business interests, including the first project in Karni and Gazza Free Zone, has met in the past with many Arab leaders including Libya's Moammar Gaddafi. Mr. Fellah believes that the current and dangerous climate in the Middle East and in the World can benefit from the courageous and wise stance adopted by the Libyan leader. To his credit, president Gaddafi was the first Arab leader to recognize by law the right to compensation to the Jews for their nationalized assets.

The upcoming fourth Congress of Jews of Libya which will be held in the Italian capital Rome in October 2004, promises to be a momentous occasion where reconciliation and joint ventures with Libya will be high on its agenda, as well as instituting practical steps to test the seriousness of the Libyan Authorities to renew the partnership between the Arab world and the former indigenous Jewish community.

The Congress will be attended by leading international figures including Arab dignitaries and will be presenting a special friendship award to the former Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti and congressmen Ben Gilman and Tom Lantos.




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