EU criticizes Jewish boycott of religion meeting

The European Union is criticizing the decision by some Jewish leaders to boycott an EU meeting of religious officials. The World Jewish Congress says its representatives did not attend Monday's meeting because some Muslim participants have made anti-Jewish statements. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the global economic crisis makes now "a time for unity and not for isolation." European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering says "dialogue is now our priority." It was the first time Jewish representatives pulled out of the annual gathering. European Muslim Network leader Tariq Ramadan says that "anything which has to do with targeting people for their religion is unacceptable."