By Nawab Khan
BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Saba) -- Spain which takes over the six-month EU Presidency from Sweden on January 1 said here Friday that it will work for the creation of an independent Palestinian state by next year and also work for closer ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported on Friday.
Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spanish foreign minister, in reply to KUNA's question on the Middle East during a press conference here today said "the Middle East Peace Process is going to be one of the main priorities.." He said the Spanish Presidency will encourage the two parties to renew negotiations, support the US Administration to facilitate a final settlement and to play the European role in all areas political, economic and security related.
"For Spanish Presidency 2010 should be the year of peace. We are going to work for that," he said.
Moratinos, an ex-EU special envoy to the Middle East, said his idea is to work for having in 2010 finally a Palestinian state that could live in peace and security with Israel.
"Why to wait for more time. We are all defending the two-state solution. We already have Israel as a state. We need a Palestinian state , the sooner the better and that is going to be our objective," he said in reply to another reporter's question.
"Of course I cannot guarantee that at the end of the year we will have a Palestinian state .But we are going to fight for this final aspiration to become a reality," he added.
Moratinos said the GCC-EU Council meeting will be held under the Spanish Presidency to finalise the agreement between the Gulf countries and the EU.
"It is just an extra mile and I hope that Spanish relationship with the Arab countries and the Gulf countries will succeed on that.
All Arab countries need to be united and work with the EU," he stressed.
In reply to another question by KUNA on ties between the EU and the Muslim world he noted that Spain and Turkey have launched an initiative on the Alliance of Civilisations a few years ago.
The Spanish Presidency will organize some ministerial and high level meetings in Cordova within the umbrella of Alliance of Civilisations.
Relations between Europe and the Islamic world would be on the agenda of these activities, he explained.
Moratinos said the Spanish EU Presidency will have four main priorities which include application of the Lisbon Treaty, getting out of the economic crisis, promoting EU's global role and to place European citizens at the centre of EU policy.
|more of (International)|