MIDEAST . . . THE ECONOMICS OF PEACE

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More than 2,500 Arab, Israeli and Western politicians, business figures and royalty emerged from athree-day economic summitin Morocco with agreements to compliment Mideast peace with economic development, including the launch of a regional development bank, a tourism board, chamber of commerce and business council. "In a sense, they're saying the Middle East is now open for business," saysTIME correspondent Jay Branegan, in Casablanca. Branegan says the event amounts to a political blessing encouraging "the private sector to come in and consolidate the gains made in peace with investment, training and tourism." Whether it works won't be known for months or years, Branegan says, but the confab saw Israeli and Arab business representatives mingling for the first time. And, he says, it drew public acknowledgement from Israel's leaders that the Jewish state "cannot exist as an oasis of prosperity in a sea of Palestinian poverty."