Mediterranean summit cancelled again due to Arab threat to boycott over Israel 11Nov10 November 12, 2010

by Barak Ravid  -  Haaretz -  11 November 2010

An international summit of Mediterranean leaders has been canceled for the third time because Arab states threatened to boycott if Israel was invited.

French national security adviser Jean-David Levitte told his Israeli counterpart, Uzi Arad, on Tuesday that the Union for the Mediterranean conference had been called off. Arad was in the United States with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The summit was planned for November 21, in Barcelona.The foreign ministers of France, Spain and Egypt are expected to issue a formal announcement today of the cancelation.

Israeli officials held talks with French officials in a bid to prevent the announcement from blaming Israel for the summit’s cancelation. Israel feared it would be held responsible due to its refusal to extend the construction freeze in the settlements.

French and Spanish officials, realizing that the foundered Israeli-Palestinian peace process jeopardized the summit, made efforts to save it over the past few weeks.

Around 50 presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers were due to attend the summit.

Turkey opposed the summit in connection to the Israeli raid earlier this year on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. The Palestinian Authority objected over the resumption of construction in West Bank settlements and the Arab League objected over the standstill in the peace process.

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