|Solana, Israelis and Arabs meet in Madrid|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 09 January 2007 17:00|
|This link from my friend Darrell... |
Representatives of the Arab League, Israel and the European Union are meeting today for the 15th anniversary of the Madrid conference. The list of delegates is quite impressive, including European Foreign Ministers from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, eleven Israeli representatives and eight Palestinian representatives including Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan and former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, former head of Israeli intelligence Uri Saguy, the former President of Spain Felipe Gonzalez, and of course Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common Foreign and Security Policy. Other countries such as the US, Russia and other Middle East states will also attend the gathering. Spanish King Carlos I will give an audience, and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, who helped devise the Declaration of Alicante, will give the opening address.
Quote: "The current conference will be attended by a team of eight representatives from the Palestinian Authority headed by Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan; 11 Israeli representatives including former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and former head of Military Intelligence Uri Saguy; a European contingent including the foreign ministers of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and former French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine, as well as former Spanish president Felipe Gonzalez and EU high representative for common and security policy, Javier Solana. Russia, the UN, the Arab League, the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf, Syria and Saudi Arabia will also be represented, as will the US, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
The Madrid Conference began in 1991 after the first Gulf War, and aims at providing a platform for dialogue between parties involved in the Middle East conflict, namely Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians. As a result of two years of negotiations, Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israel. The Madrid conference also spawned the failed Oslo Peace Accords, which should have resulted in a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The EU Summit later this month will discuss Spain's new peace initiative for the Middle East, which has already been approved by several Arab states.
Source Jerusalem Post