SPANISH prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said in Majorca yesterday afternoon that a positive solution to the current situation in Iraq will not only benefit the whole region, but also help resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine which is why a new United Nations resolution is extremely important. Aznar flew into Majorca yesterday from Brussels to preside over the opening of the fifth Formentor Forum at the Hotel Formentor.
The Prime Minister urged all the delegates attending the two day conference, to study closely the consequences of the 1.511 resolution approved by the Security Council in New York on Iraq this is very good news and extremely important, Aznar told the conference. I am confident that you will be using this meeting to discuss the situation in Iraq because if we can reach a positive solution, many problems in this world will be solved, in particular the war against terrorism, he said. Aznar stressed just how important he believes in resolving the Iraq conflict by claiming that once the crisis is over, international relations can be newly defined and, in particular, be used to maintain stability in the zone and confronting the problems between Israel and Palestine. Aznar said that the shared desire of the European Union, especially Spain, is for the two states to be able to live side by side peacefully and safely with freedom for all. Aznar would like to see the Barcelona Middle East peace process given new impetus as part of a new effort to resolve the Israel/Palestine problem. Like them or not, these Mediterranean discussion forums and conferences are gaining ground. At this forum, which in the past has been attended by the leaders of Algeria and Egypt, important contacts have been made between Israel and Palestine, Aznar added. The forum is also being attended by the ex Prime Minister of Portugal, Alfonso Cortina, who Aznar said he was very pleased to see in Majorca.
Aznar is accompanied at the forum by the Balearic president Jaume Matas and the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio.
She said that the forum has become an important meeting for the Mediterranean countries and an important forum for the discussion of EU policy on the Mediterranean. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is also attending this year and Aznar said his presence at the forum is significant and encouraging.
Palacio added that it is important for Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be attending such forums as in November 2004, the European Commission meets to study how Turkey is progressing with regards to complying with and meeting the requisites to join the European Union. Palacio presided over the first working group of the conference, the Mediterranean after the Iraq War in which the former French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine, the secretary general of the Arab Magreb Union Habib Boulares and the Turkish Ambassador to Spain Volkan Vural took part. Aznar gave a private address to delegates over dinner after which he returned to Madrid.