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Israel: "The Union for the Mediterranean should not be another useless forum politicised against Israel"

The Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz, spoke of Israel?s position on the Union for the Mediterranean in an interview with CNA. He stressed that ?we need the Union for the Mediterranean, but with the negative attitudes from Arab countries, we wi

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24 July 2010 02:01 AM

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ACN / Maria Fernández Noguera

Madrid (CNA).- For Israel, the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM) is a \u201Cnecessary\u201D project in achieving cooperation with neighbouring countries in which 500 million Arabs live. \u201CIn order to have peace with Palestine, Israel must hand over territories. An environment of regional confidence would be very good for us\u201D, said the Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz. He added \u201Cas long as Arab countries continue to have negative attitudes, we will not go very far.\u201D Schultz hopes that the Euro-Mediterranean Summit will finally be held in Barcelona, but this depends on \u201Cif it will concentrate more on subjects of cooperation, because if it is just another forum to discuss the conflict between Israel and Palestine, we do not need it.\u201D


The Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz, commended the Union for the Mediterranean\u2019s goals. The international organisation with its headquarters in Barcelona has proposed that 43 countries of the European Union that are located on the south and east banks of the Mediterranean Sea form common projects for water management and decontamination, transport, alternative energies, entrepreneurial development, and universities. \u201CThe Union for the Mediterranean aims to improve the environment and works with themes that should be an interest for all Mediterranean countries,\u201D said Schultz. The Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz, commended the Union for the Mediterranean\u2019s goals. The international organisation with its headquarters in Barcelona has proposed that 43 countries of the European Union that are located on the south and east banks of the Mediterranean Sea form common projects for water management and decontamination, transport, alternative energies, entrepreneurial development, and universities. \u201CThe Union for the Mediterranean aims to improve the environment and works with themes that should be an interest for all Mediterranean countries,\u201D said Schultz.

The problem, assures the ambassador, is that \u201Cthe Arab group, represented by the rigid attitudes of the Arab League, makes everything a political subject and only criticises Israel on the Palestinian subject\u201D. In this sense, Schultz brought up a case when there was an incapacity to come to an agreement regarding water management because Arab countries wanted the agreement to refer to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as \u201Coccupied territories\u201D instead of \u201Cterritories under occupation\u201D.

Israel complained to the European Union, saying that they should \u201Crequire much more of Arab countries that what they currently are doing\u201D. According to Schultz, although Israel is a richer country, it is in a disfavoured geopolitical position, as it is \u201Calone in the middle of 20 Arab countries\u201D.

\u201CThe United Nations is already attacking us, and we will not allow the UpM to become another useless political forum against Israel\u201D.

The Euro-Mediterranean Summit that was scheduled to be held at the beginning of June has been postponed until November. This is because countries like Egypt and Syria have chosen not to attend the summit if the Israeli Foreign Minister, Avdigor Lieberman, attends, who is known for his extreme right-wing and anti-Arab positions.

Now there is doubt to whether or not it will be held at all, if the relationships between these states do not improve. Will the Euro-Mediterranean Summit finally take place? \u201CI hope that yes, but that depends on if it will concentrate on subjects of interest, like cooperation. If it is just another forum to discuss the Israel/Palestine theme, then it is not needed. We are already being attacked by the United Nations. The Union for the Mediterranean should not be another useless forum politically against Israel. We will not allow this\u201D, stated Schultz.

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  • Israel's Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz

  • Israel's Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schultz