Zapatero accused of being a 'poor diplomat'
8 August 2006, MADRID – Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been criticised for being a poor diplomat over Israel’s military action in the Lebanon.
8 August 2006
MADRID – Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been criticised for being a poor diplomat over Israel’s military action in the Lebanon.
On Tuesday, the main opposition conservative party, the PP, called for Zapatero to appear before Congress to explain his stance on Israel since the start of the dispute between Israel and Hizbullah.
PP spokesman Gustavo de Aristegui said Zapatero had played an "irresponsible" role in the crisis in the Middle East which had let to a "grave erosion" of Spain’s position in the region.
Zapatero has criticised the "abusive force" used by Israel in response to Hizbullah and was also criticised for being photographed wearing a Palestinian headscarf.
Aristegui said while in 1991 Madrid had organised a Peace Conference for the Middle East, now the government’s "erratic attitude" had led Israel to reject Spain as a mediator.
The other opposition parties rejected the motion for Zapatero to address Congress, however, several agreed with the PP that Zapatero had been non-diplomatic.
Josu Erkoreka, spokesperson for the PNV, said no one could deny that the comments and images of the prime minister had been "little in keeping with fundamental teaching from the school of diplomacy".
CIU member Josep Antoni i Lleida said the behaviour of the government had been "clearly improvable", however, he said the previous PP government under Jose Maria Aznar had also damaged relationships with Arab countries.
The PP did, however, praise foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos for his "impeccable analysis" of the situation in Lebanon, saying it was a clear contrast to the "clumsiness" and "partiality" of his leader.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news