43 heads of state and government met on 13 July in Paris to launch the Union for the Mediterranean.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
At the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, FM Livni addressed foreign ministers from Arab countries as well as foreign ministers from European Union member countries:
"I know that for some of the members of this conference, conflict is perceived as a stumbling block that stands in the way of project promotion. I don’t accept that and I don’t agree with it. A meeting between peoples to promote cooperation in the challenges confronting them contributes to their leaders’ ability to make decisions.
"I look at my neighbors – not only my neighbors in this hall but also my neighbors in the region – and I see first of all human beings. Human beings with a lot in common, who have more common challenges than conflicts, and the only way to deal with these challenges is through cooperation.
"Don’t take the ability of peoples in the region to cooperate and hold it hostage to political considerations.
"Israel is promoting the peace process with its neighbors not because it is being forced to, and not because in the end there will be normalization, but because we want peace for its own sake. Peace reflects our dream and our values.
"Israel is proud of what it has achieved so far and wants to contribute to every project that can help everyone, without restrictions as to who will benefit from it. All of our neighbors should hold that view, and in this way we will be able to create a basis for consensus."