An informal conference took place today in Lisbon between the ten countries in or near the western Mediterranean area. These countries are Italy, France, Malta, Spain and Portugal from the north, and Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya from the south. The Foreign Ministers of these countries took part, the idea being to relaunch the dialogue which was begun with the Declaration of Barcelona, 1995, in which vague agreements were made about future common policies. International events, lack of financing and European Union bureaucracy all contributed to a general stagnation and nothing noteworthy has been done. It is Lisbon’s intention to break the habitual silence between the Mediterranean Sea’s north and south coasts and start a process of collaboration and cooperation. A positive note at this conference was the presence of a united front by Libya, Algeria and Morocco.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE