Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed at Sharm el-Sheihk for $50 billion in aid for his country. President Bush praised Karzai and announced his support for the Afghan aid appeal. “This is a great opportunity for the world to help Afghanistan grow and prosper,” Bush told the WEF attendees. The agenda of the WEF Sharm el-Sheihk gathering of political, business, and financial elites was aimed at advancing the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) announced by the Bush administration in June 2004 before the G-8 Summit. The GMEI, which envisions a carrot-and-stick approach utilizing free-trade agreements, foreign aid, and U.S.-NATO military power to redraw and restructure the Middle East, was first put forward at the 2004 meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Group.
Economic Forum Pushes Mideast Aid and Free-trade AgreementsWritten by Super User
President Bush joined over 1,100 participants at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Middle East conference at Sharm el-Sheihk, Egypt, May 18-20. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict was one of the center-stage items, and the conference provided added pressure to follow through with the U.S.-backed Paris donor conference pledges of 2007, at which the United States and other countries promised a massive $7.7 billion aid package to the Palestinian Authority run by terrorist Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO.