Warning over Iraq occupation
23 March 2004
MADRID – Spain’s future foreign minister said Tuesday that if the occupation of Iraq continues it can only add to the instability, violence and deterioration.
Miguel Angel Moratinos, a former EU representative to the Middle East who is widely tipped to be the next foreign minister, said the assassination of the leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yasin, was a “strategic political error” by the Israeli government.
Yasin was killed in a missile attack on his home in the Gaza Strip Monday.
Hamas has promised revenge attacks and has said the war against Israel will continue until the Palestinians have a homeland.
In an interview with Radio Nacional Espana, Moratinos said the purpose of Ariel Sharon’s Israeli government was simply to “liquidate any opposition”.
He added that the assasination is “not going to help re-establish the confidence in the political process in the Middle East”.
Moratinos said: “The international community cannot stay with its arms crossed while his situation is covered in blood.”
He said after the 11 September attacks in the United States, urgent force was needed to resolve the Palestinian question.
Moratinos said: “What is needed is clarity of vision which needs to start to change the situation.”
On the question of withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq if the United Nations does not take over in July, he argued that “the presence of international troops at the moment is seen as an occupation force and if that occupation does go on, so will the instability, violence and continuing deterioration.”
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news