Mediterranean Forum: Mideast Violence Could Spread to European Countries
A group of Mediterranean countries said Friday violence in the Middle East could spread to the whole Mediterranean region, and urged Europe to pursue mediation efforts. Speaking to reporters at the end of a meeting of foreign ministers of 11 Mediterranean countries, Moroccan Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissa said Israel was waging a war against Palestinians.
"We want it to cease, and here we urge the European Union to play its full role, and we want Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks for peace," said Benaissa, who chaired the Mediterranean Forum meeting. "We (Arab ministers) explained to our European colleagues the tragic situation in Palestine...The violence will expand to other countries in the area and to other Mediterranean countries," he added noting that millions of Muslims and Arabs who live in Europe were also affected by the "killing of Palestinians."
"The European Union has a responsibility of no lesser importance than that of the United States; it should play a role for the return of peace to the Middle East and apply the land for peace (principle) and UN resolutions," he added.
The forum, which links foreign ministers of 11 Mediterranean countries, started its eighth annual meeting Thursday to debate the spiral of violence in the occupied territories, as well as economic cooperation and security in the basin.
But Benaissa said the escalating violence in the area was the main issue debated.
The forum links Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Turkey and Malta – TANGIERS (Reuters)