Lieberman: I'll attend EU conference

FM defiant in face of Arab threats to boycott Barcelona summit.

May 11, 2010 10:14
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (AP).

Lieberman 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)


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Avigdor Lieberman will attend the Mediterranean leaders' conference next month in Barcelona, despite threats by the presidents of Egypt and Syria to boycott the gathering if he participates, the foreign minister declared Tuesday.

Lieberman told Israel Radio that if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar Assad choose not to attend, that would be their problem.

The conference is taking place as part of the Union for the Mediterranean, an European Union-sponsored initiative to promote cooperation between the EU and Mediterranean states. 

A previous summit of foreign ministers planned for Istanbul in 2009 was also cancelled after Egypt and other Arab states announced that they would boycott it if Lieberman was present.

A 2008 Paris summit of Mediterranean heads of state, organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was attended by then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and a variety of Arab leaders.

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