This is the eighth regional forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM), a meeting of foreign ministers, which the Portuguese diplomatic chief, João Gómez Cravinho, will attend today.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are part of the UfM, but Tel Aviv canceled its presence in Barcelona on Friday after the meeting’s initial agenda was changed and its sole point was “the crisis situation in Israel and Gaza-Palestine and its consequences. The region”.
Tel Aviv said the UfM “should be a practical platform for fostering cooperation between different countries for the benefit of all the peoples of the Mediterranean” but it now “risks turning into another international forum where Arab countries criticize Israel”.
This boycott negates the intention of the Spanish government, the host of the UfM forums, to make the meeting a platform for dialogue and reconciliation between Israel and Arab countries, including the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s decision not to be in Barcelona coincided with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visiting the Middle East on Thursday and Friday with Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Groove. The Aviv government considered Hamas “supportive of terrorism”.
Hamas, the radical Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, condemned the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and called for the release of Israeli hostages. Tel Aviv’s military operation in the region in recent weeks has included innocent civilians” Palestinians and the “unacceptable destruction of Gaza”.
The UfM regional forum is co-chaired by Spain’s Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, and Jordanian minister Ayman Safadi, who said on Saturday that Israel “does not want to talk or listen”.
“We see Israel attacking everyone who disagrees with them – the Secretary-General [das Nações Unidas] Gutierrez, [o chefe da diplomacia europeia] Joseph Borrell -, anyone who does not subscribe to the Israeli occupation or even those who call for a cease-fire”, Ayman Safadi, in Amman, was questioned by Lusa after a meeting with his Portuguese colleagues, João Gómez Cravinho and Slovenian, Tanja Fajon. , in Amman.
Today’s meeting, according to the Jordanian minister, will “allow for an open and transparent dialogue between neighbors and partners on how to end this war and how to respond to the devastating humanitarian impact” and discuss how to move towards a plan for peace. “Once and for all,” Ayman added.
The Portuguese Foreign Minister considered Israel’s boycott of the UfM meeting “a lost opportunity” but argued that it should not prevent the deepening of the “dialogue with the Arab countries”, which is the “point of arrival where everyone agrees” on the two-state solution, living side by side in peace and security, João Gómez Cravinho told Lusa.
A two-state solution [Israel e Palestina]He continued, “This is a goal that can no longer be postponed”.
43 countries are part of the UpM – 27 countries from the European Union and 17 other Mediterranean states from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, including Palestine, which are not officially recognized by all other countries.
The UpM was created in 2008 and is the successor to the Euro-Mediterranean Conference established in 2015 and the so-called “Barcelona Process” with the aim of fostering cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
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