Gadhafi: European Partnership increases terrorism
Today, Libyan Moammar Gadhafi warned North African nations against a proposal partnership with Europe made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It would set up a strategic bloc to unite Mediterranean Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. For Gadhafi such bloc would not only aggravate immigration problems but it also might increase terrorism.
Libya's Gadhafi: Partnership with Europe could increase terrorism
2008-07-09 23:31:08 -
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi warned Wednesday of a backlash from terrorists if Muslim countries in North Africa accept a proposal for a partnership with Europe.
Gadhafi reiterated his refusal of a suggestion by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to set up a strategic bloc that unites Mediterranean countries of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, saying it might increase terrorism in the already volatile Middle East.
A partnership with Europe «will deepen the problem of illegal immigration and terrorism in the region,» Gadhafi told reporters at his residence in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
Gadhafi also repeated his refusal to attend an inaugural summit of the Mediterranean Union being held in Paris on Sunday.
The union is Sarkozy's project and will bring together countries on both sides of the volatile Mediterranean rim. But other EU countries have already scaled back his ambitious vision for the new bloc.
Gadhafi said that the political and economic weight in the Mediterranean Union is «not balanced» among Arab and European countries. He also said the union would undermine the African Union and the Arab League.
«A membership of eight Islamic nations to a European structure will agitate the Islamists more than before and will entice them to respond to this by every mean,» the Libyan leader said.
Sarkozy has envisioned that such a union will focus on economic ties but will also be involved in discussions on issues such as human rights, illegal immigration and Middle East peace.
It would ideally consist of 39 partners _ the 27-nation EU, plus a dozen on the Mediterranean's southern shores, from Morocco to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Tensions between Israel and Arab states over the plan have already surfaced ahead of the Paris summit.
«When I visited France, I advised Sarkozy to stay away from the problems of the Middle East, and to instead set up a union that unites the southern (shores) of the Mediterranean and the north,» Gadhafi said.