East-West confrontation must end, says Zapatero

13th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 November 2006, ISTANBUL — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Monday one of the biggest challenges facing the world faced was changing the confrontation between East and West.

13 November 2006

ISTANBUL — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Monday one of the biggest challenges facing the world faced was changing the confrontation between East and West.

Zapatero was speaking in Istanbul during a visit to Turkey to see his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He said: "One of the greatest challenges confronting the international community is reversing the current negative interaction and disconnect between the West and the Islamic world."

In a letter signed by both leaders and published in the Spanish daily El Pais, they said the current trend of antagonism favours movement toward "policies based on identity in which extremism can flourish".

The joint letter came as both premiers took part in Istanbul, along with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and others, in a high-level meeting of those promoting "the Project for an Alliance of Civilizations" launched by the heads of government of Spain and Turkey.

For Zapatero and Erdogan "the initiative to form a true Alliance of Civilizations responds to a broad consensus among nations, cultures and civilizations that all societies are inter-dependent and their development, security and prosperity are all joined".

The two leaders said "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an obstacle for which it is urgent that the international community find a just and dignified solution".

"If we really want to be able to build a broad coalition that corrects the current dynamic and the mutual suspicions between the West and the Islamic world, it will require marshalling a considerable international effort over a long period of time," the leaders' letter said.

Both premiers committed themselves and their countries to increased efforts in the coming months and years "so that the words of High-Level Group (meeting in Istanbul) become realities".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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