Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-09-06-Speech-3-180"

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"Mr President, let us be clear: to have been successful in prevention, management and, now, post-war reconstruction, Europe would have required the right tools. We do not have them yet. We do not have a Constitution in force; a Constitution that includes a Minister for Foreign Affairs, allows decisions to be made by qualified majority and enables the Council to call upon a group of countries to carry out the mission which is now going to be carried out by certain Member States. We are being offered an opportunity, however: an opportunity that follows a brutal war. Italy, France, Spain and other Union countries have committed themselves to participating in a reinforced UNIFIL, the main task of which will be to ensure compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. Politically speaking, however, the fundamental issue here is to change direction in the Middle East: change the direction that the United States has tried to impose unilaterally since the Iraq war. What a difference between the soldiers who occupied Iraq and the European soldiers who are now going to enforce international law and restore peace. Let us not forget that that difference is also based on values: the European Union’s values. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. We have the Barcelona process and we must use it to the full. We must imbue the Middle East conflict with the sprit of the Euro-Mediterranean process, with cooperation, with solidarity, with dialogue between cultures and peoples, in order to establish and maintain peace. The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly is part of that process. It will be my honour to take part in the delegation that it is going to send to the region, led by Mrs Saïfi. That is an achievement that we should stress. We must defend democracy in Lebanon and we must also be able to promote a new international conference based on the spirit of the successful Madrid Conference."@en1

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