ABC News: Islamic Countries Commit to Reforms:
"Officials from more than 20 Islamic countries said Saturday that political, economic and social reforms must go hand in hand with steps toward settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict......The United States, a driving force behind the conference, sees the changes as a way to make these societies less of a breeding ground for political extremism. At a news conference after the discussions, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was not disappointed that the Muslim delegates insisted on linking internal reforms to the Mideast dispute."
"Much of the discussion, conducted mostly in private, focused on raising the low literacy rates in the region and on ways to provide equal treatment for women. Economic development also was on the agenda. Treasury Secretary John Snow said the region's unemployment rate is about 50 percent. 'The best development program is a job,' Snow told reporters. 'And a job comes from growth.'"