Staff Reporter
BALEARIC leader Jaume Matas yesterday defended dialogue between Mediterranean countries as a means of overcoming the differences which separate them, and he called on European states to “reassume a central role” on the international stage. “What unites us is superior in quantity and quality to what separates us,” said Matas, who believes that Europe has gone through “an internal process of alienation” because it has abandoned its roots. He made these statements during his opening speech at the fifth Formentor Forum, which ends in Pollensa today.
The theme of the Forum is “Mediterranean Rifts: Dialogues to Overcome Them” and it is being attended by Spanish Premier José Maria Aznar and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Palacio as well as politicians from Turkey, Germany, Portugal, France, Tunisia and Israel. Matas stressed that “Spain's foreign policy and its faithful collaboration with the United States in the Iraqi conflict” are based on “comprehension of the new international stage” following the September 11 attacks in the United States. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are “the last wars of the 20th century, not the 21st century,” said Matas, who explained that the threat which is facing “the imperial monopoly of power or the oligopoly of the power of the democratic countries is a diffuse, complex and globalised danger.” In this respect, he said that the United States presents all the characteristics which “define a power as imperial,” although the way of exercising the power “is no longer efficient if it is shown in the traditional dissuasive ways of punishing those who perturb the established world order.” The conflicts stemming from September 11, he said, will lead to “relations of power based more on co-operation than on a pyramid-like, hierarchical structure.” The Balearic leader said that the people of the Mediterranean have lived through disputes which have led to “fruitful cultural interactions of dialogue throughout their history.” The Forum, a summit for political reflection and debate, is promoted by the Repsol YPH Foundation.
This is the fifth time that it has been held in the north of the island.

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