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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #195 on: September 02, 2008, 11:52:46 PM »

Farewell, NATO


When I was growing up in the 1960s, we had a majestic Santa Rosa plum orchard on my family's farm. The trees were 40 years old and had grown to more than 20 feet high. My grandfather would proudly recall how its once-bumper crops of big, sweet plums had helped him survive the Depression and a postwar fall in agricultural prices.

But by the 1960s, the towering, verdant trees were more a park than a profitable orchard. The aged limbs had grown almost too high to pick, the fruit there too few and too small to pack profitably. Yet my grandfather simply could not bring himself to bulldoze the money-losing, unproductive old orchard.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is like that noble Santa Rosa orchard. We all remember how NATO once saved Western Europe from the onslaught of global communism. Its success led to the present European Union. The Soviets were kept at bay. The Americans were engaged, while the postwar German colossus remained peaceful. A resurgent Europe followed, secure enough to prosper while complacent enough to slash defense expenditures and expand entitlements.

After the victory of the Cold War, NATO's raison d'etre became more problematic - even as its theoretical reach now went all the way to the old borders of the Soviet Union. Yet without the Soviet menace that had prompted the alliance, what justified the continued need for trans-Atlantic collective defense?

We saw NATO's paralysis in the European inaction over Serbia's ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. When NATO finally acted to remove Slobodan Milosevic in 1999, the much-criticized intervention proved little more than a de facto American air campaign.

Article 5 of NATO's charter requires its members to come to the aid of any fellow nation that is attacked. But when it was evoked after Sept. 11, 2001, for the first time, NATO - other than a few European gestures such as sending surveillance planes to fly above America - didn't risk much abroad to fight Islamic terrorists.

Australia, a non-NATO member, is doing far more to fight the Taliban than either Germany or Spain. Many Western European countries have national directives that prevent aggressive offensives against the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents, overriding NATO military doctrine.

Take away Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States from Afghanistan and the collective NATO force would collapse in hours.

The enemy in Afghanistan knows this. The savvy and sinister Taliban just targeted the French contingent. It figured the loss of 10 French soldiers might have a greater demoralizing effect on French public opinion than Verdun did in 1916, when France suffered nearly a half-million casualties in heroically stopping the German advance. But 90 years ago, France kept on fighting to win a war. Now, the French parliament may meet to discuss withdrawal altogether.

There is much talk that had Georgia been a NATO member, Russia might not have attacked it. The truth is far worse. Even if Georgia had belonged to NATO, no European forces would have been willing to die for Tbilisi. Remember the furor in 2003 when some NATO countries - angry at the United States - tried to block support to member Turkey if Saddam's Iraq retaliated against Ankara for the U.S. invasion to remove him.

The well-intended but ossified alliance keeps offering promises to new members that are weaker, poorer and in more dangerous and distant places, but its old smug founding states are ever more unlikely to honor them.

In the last two decades, the safety of a rich Western Europe also spawned a new Continental creed of secularism, socialism and anti-Americanism that embraced the untruth that the United Nations kept the peace while America endangered it. But if a disarmed Continent counted on continued expensive U.S. protection, it was suicidal to mock its protector.

If NATO dissolves, Europe will at least receive a much-needed reality check. It might even relearn to invest in its own defense. European relations with America would be more grounded in reality, and the United States could still forge individual ties with countries that wished to be true partners, not loud caricatures of allies.

That stately Santa Rosa orchard? When it finally was toppled, uprooted and cut up, we all nearly wept - but my grandfather had new varieties of plum trees planted in its place by the next spring.
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« Reply #196 on: September 28, 2008, 02:22:33 PM »

Juncker rules out Lisbon treaty before 2010 

Prophecy News Watch

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty will not enter into force before the European Parliament elections in June 2009, as was initially hoped, and is unlikely to do so before 1 January 2010 either, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels on Wednesday.

"I don't think that the treaty will be in place in June 2009, when the next European elections will take place," Mr Juncker, who is also the president of the eurogroup - gathering the finance ministers of the eurozone - said at a conference organised by the Brussels-based European Policy Centre (EPC).

In order for the document to be in place by June 2009, it would have to be ratified by all 27 EU member states by February - something which according to Luxembourg's premier is "not realistic."

"It's not possible to have this treaty enter into force before the year 2010," he stressed.

Mr Juncker is the first high-level politician to publicly state the Lisbon treaty may be impossible to adopt next year.

Originally, the document - aimed to replace the failed European Constitution and to provide for a better and more efficient functioning of the EU - was planned to enter into force in January 2009.

But Irish citizens voted No in a referendum on the treaty in June, casting a doubt over the possibility to reach the goal.

EU leaders will be expecting to hear from Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on the issue at a summit meeting in October, with the EU insisting ratification of the document should continue in other member states, and a second referendum in Ireland seen by some as a possibility to bypass the June No vote.

Mr Juncker, however, said that a possible revote in Ireland should not take place in the immediate future.

"Given the economic crisis we're living in, given the confidence that's lacking, given that governments are increasingly unpopular all over Europe, organising a referendum around a European treaty is a dangerous road to take," he said.

"If I was the Irish Prime Minister, I wouldn't go for a referendum in the next few months."

If the Lisbon treaty does not come into force in 2009, that will affect the composition of both the European Parliament and the European Commission next year, which would have to be conducted under the EU's current set of rules, the Nice treaty.

It would mean that the number of seats in the European Parliament would shrink from the current 785 to 736 – instead of 751, as foreseen in the Lisbon treaty.

But the number of commissioners in the next commission - to be nominated by November 2009 - would also be reduced, as under Nice, their number should be "less than the number of member states."
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« Reply #197 on: October 06, 2008, 12:31:58 AM »

Turkey and the European Union
by David Casa
October 04, 2008

Relations between Turkey and the European Union were suspended for most of the 1970s and 1980s for several reasons: the military coup of 1971, the Cyprus intervention of 1974 and the military coup of 1980, which closed down political parties and trade unions and imprisoned many people on political grounds. Eventually, the EU summit held in Helsinki in December 1999 made a historic decision. Turkey was officially designated “a candidate country destined to join the union on the basis of the same criteria applied to the other candidate countries”.

This decision served to postpone Turkey’s membership for an indefinite period of time. The coalition government led by Bülent Ecevit prepared a national programme to implement the short and long-term reforms demanded by the EU, and in summer 2002, Parliament passed several constitutional amendments and other laws to ensure further compliance with the Copenhagen criteria.

Ankara began negotiations to join the 27-nation bloc in 2005, but talks on most of the key issues are presently frozen because of Turkey’s long-standing dispute with EU member Cyprus.

So far, Turkey has completed compliance with EU legislation in only one area – science and research. Talks are now on a slow track after Turkey refused last year to implement a customs union pact with EU member Cyprus, which Ankara does not recognise.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative party previously advocated that Turkey be granted a “privileged partnership” that falls short of membership, a proposal Turkey rejects. The French president, hosting Turkey’s prime minister for the launch of a “Union for the Mediterranean,” reaffirmed in July that Turkey’s bid to become a member of the European Union will continue unhindered under his country’s presidency of the 27-nation bloc.

At the meeting Recep Tayyip Erdoðan urged Nicolas Sarkozy, considered by the Turks as a staunch opponent of Turkey’s membership in the European Union, to remain loyal to the membership pledges given to Ankara. He said in response that France would continue to work to ensure the accession talks will continue at a normal pace, according to a French source close to the meeting. Erdoðan also invited Sarkozy to visit Turkey to help improve dialogue between Ankara and the EU.

Recently, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Turkey would play an active role in France’s Mediterranean initiative. “We think it will promote peace, stability and development in the region, and Turkey supports this initiative,” he said.

Sarkozy has been outspoken about his objections to Turkish EU membership. However, special envoys of the French government had been sent to Ankara to give assurances that the project is no longer perceived as an alternative to the country’s EU membership. France said the Mediterranean Union is no longer a French idea but an EU project and as such it would have been detrimental for Turkey to stay away from it.

Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who met in Paris earlier this summer, insisted the idea of a union of Mediterranean countries modeled on, but not part of, the EU was not an attempt to appease Turkey. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has stated that he opposed Turkey’s EU membership, has floated the idea of a “Mediterranean Union” but said recently the proposal was not meant as a consolation prize for Turkey if the Muslim nation should lose its bid to join the EU.

Many Turks are suspicious that the principle reason their country has remained excluded from the EU has to do with European fears of and prejudices against Muslims

The Turkish press frequently lambastes those who it says wish to keep the EU as an exclusively Christian club. Some also acknowledge that they perceive the Bosphorus waterway as marking not only a geographical divide between Europe and Asia but also a fundamental cultural frontier as well.

EU members have also expressed reservations about Turkey’s human rights record. Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, two human rights monitoring organisations supported by the EU, have reported the persistence of practices such as arbitrary arrests, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture in prisons, and censorship. The Turkish Human Rights Association, itself subject to harassment and intimidation tactics, has prepared detailed chronologies and lists of human rights abuses, including the destruction of entire villages without due process, and has circulated these reports widely in Europe.

The documented reports of human rights abuses, like the coup rumours, sustained questions about Turkey’s qualifications to join a collective body of countries that have striven to achieve uniform standards for protecting citizen rights.

I form part of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, within the European Union. I have been involved and have followed this issue with great interest. I was in the thick of the action when negotiating and promoting European Union Membership and I can therefore understand how difficult it may be for a country like Turkey to meet all the criteria, and persuade all other members.

The European Union is a community that is ready to listen to one and all. It is a community where dialogue between different countries is a key. However, every country must reach the criteria, many a time with efforts, as we did, to be part of this prosperous family.

Turkey and the European Union
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« Reply #198 on: October 06, 2008, 12:38:08 AM »

Hmmmmmmmm, The plot thickens every day.

Seems Turkey going to be part of the EU and the Mediterranean union. Remember the Med. U is the E.U., in a way, and also the Black Sea, aka Caucasian Union with Russia, let's not forget the AoC, Alliance of Civilization (UN). And they have Partnership with and are joining the GCC, for Economic reason of course.

Talk about climbing into bed with everyone.
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« Reply #199 on: October 06, 2008, 02:17:04 AM »

Hmmmmmmmm, The plot thickens every day.

Seems Turkey going to be part of the EU and the Mediterranean union. Remember the Med. U is the E.U., in a way, and also the Black Sea, aka Caucasian Union with Russia, let's not forget the AoC, Alliance of Civilization (UN). And they have Partnership with and are joining the GCC, for Economic reason of course.

Talk about climbing into bed with everyone.

YES Brother - things are getting more wild by the day. We need to look around us and know that the TRAIN FOR HELL IS LOADING, and many are jumping on. The entire world is insane, including our part of the world. Who would have ever believed that a RADICAL COMMUNIST COMMUNITY ORGANIZER would be trying to take over a FREE COUNTRY FROM WITHIN without firing a shot! SADLY, THE TRAIN TO HELL IS A POPULAR ONE, AND HOSTS ARE STILL BOARDING!
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« Reply #200 on: October 12, 2008, 12:56:55 AM »

EU wipes England off the map - as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Downing Street

The Tories have issued a St George's Day rallying cry against plans by Brussels to "wipe England off the map" and create a United Europe.

As Gordon Brown hoisted the English national flag over 10 Downing Street to celebrate St George's Day, it was revealed that EU officials had revised a map wiping out the country and the Channel.

The change splits England into three and lumps those parts together with chunks of other countries to create "transnational regions".

Flying the flag: The cross of St George over No 10 Downing Street today

It is claimed these zones - which have been allocated their own budgets - are intended to boost trade between EU nations.

But the Tories yesterday accused the Government of trying "to create a European superstate via the back door".

Under the programme, known as INTER-REG, counties along England's south coast form the "Manche Region" along with northern France.

The "Atlantic Region" takes in western England, along with Ireland, Wales and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland.

Meanwhile eastern England is part of the "North Sea Region", which covers areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.

The UK Government is fully behind the project, even though the words "England" and "Britain" are left off official maps of each area and the Manche Region renames the English Channel "The Channel Sea".

Each region, which will be given taxpayers' money to promote trade links, cultural ties, transport policies and tourism, is to be run by a "managing authority" of unelected officials overseen by a director.

None will be based in the UK, with Manche ruled by the French, Atlantic by the Portuguese and North Sea by the Danes.

The regions have legal status and Manche has a budget of £261million between 2007 and 2013, Atlantic £127million and North Sea £219million.

Every project funded by a region must have a publicity campaign which ensures "there is provision for flying the EU flag at least one week every year".

Eric Pickles, the Conservatives' communities spokesman, said: "We already knew that Gordon Brown had hoisted the white flag of surrender to the European Constitution.

St George, played by historical interpreter Alan Larson, does his best at dispatching the Dragon at Scarborough Castle

"Now the Labour Government has been caught red-handed conspiring with European bureaucrats to create a European superstate via the back door.

"Gordon Brown literally wants to wipe England off the map."

But a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government insisted: "It has nothing to do with altering names on maps.

"It is about support for business, helping boost employment and turning around deprived areas... helping firms in Kent do business with people in Northern France or promoting joint tourism initiatives between different countries."

A St George's Day flag flies next to a statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London's Parliament Square today

The move came as Gordon Brown ordered that all UK Government buildings with two flag poles should fly the cross of St George alongside the union banner.

It follows a review of flag flying practices. Number 10 will in future fly the Scottish and Welsh flags on their patron saints' days.

Northern Ireland does not have an official national flag, and so the same practice will not apply on St Patrick's Day.

"The Prime Minister's view is that of course we should celebrate our Britishness, but celebrating our Britishness does not mean we cannot also celebrate our Englishness, Scottishness, Welshness or Northern Irishness," said the spokesman.

The English flag last flew over Downing Street during the 2006 World Cup.

EU wipes England off the map - as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Downing Street
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« Reply #201 on: October 12, 2008, 02:10:08 AM »

I just bought and hung up a new world wall map by my computer last night and it's already outdated!
What a mess.  It's just a matter of time folks.  And I think a very short matter of time.
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« Reply #202 on: October 12, 2008, 10:20:33 PM »


EU has threatened to wipe England off the map and create a united Europe

As the EU moves ahead with a plan to setup regions in Europe made up of the member states of the EU, the student of Bible prophecy can see better the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

Over the years, the EU has come to its present membership of 27 different nations. Add to these 27 member states the 17 or 18 new states from the Mediterranean Union that has recently been formed and you have 44 to 45 member states that would make up a future EU, a powerful, political, economic, governmental force in our world. Libya's Colonel Gaddafi said recently this united Europe including the Middle Eastern states looks like the old Roman Empire which is the goal of the EU leaders. Gaddafi is pretty much on target. The ancient borders of the old Roman Empire match the borders of the expanded EU, a step closer to Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

Daniel, the ancient Jewish prophet, in chapters 2 and 7 of his prophecy, wrote 2,500 years ago of the revived Roman Empire as the major player in the Last Days and that would include the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7.

The potential fro regions in the EU, 10 regions as they are calling for, is indeed a scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.
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« Reply #203 on: October 12, 2008, 10:29:47 PM »

EU must play more vital role in Mideast peace process
2008-10-12

    AMMAN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Time has come to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and the European Union must play a more vital role in this regard, said President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering on Saturday.

    "We as European parliamentarians are committed to the peace process and will exert our most to achieve peace in the region, and this what has brought us to Jordan to hold the meeting of the EMPA for the first time," said Poettering, who is also President of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA).

    He made the remarks in a press conference at the Dead Sea shores, where MPs from the EU and Jordan have gathered for three-day EMPA meetings.

    Poettering said the assembly will adopt a special recommendation on the peace process at the end of the meetings on Monday.

    The peace should be based on the two-state solution between the Palestinians and Israelis living side-by-side in peace and security, he added, reiterating the European Union's support for this solution.

    The official also noted that Jordan is part of the peace process and can not be excluded from any solution for the Palestinian issue.

    Poettering arrived in Amman earlier in the day to take part in the EMPA meetings.

    The EMPA Committee on Political Affairs, Security and Human Rights hold a meeting in Jordan on October 11, followed which is an extraordinary session of the EMPA plenary on October 12-13, according to a previous statement from the organization.

EU must play more vital role in Mideast peace process
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« Reply #204 on: October 12, 2008, 10:35:20 PM »

EU has threatened to wipe England off the map and create a united Europe

As the EU moves ahead with a plan to setup regions in Europe made up of the member states of the EU, the student of Bible prophecy can see better the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

Over the years, the EU has come to its present membership of 27 different nations. Add to these 27 member states the 17 or 18 new states from the Mediterranean Union that has recently been formed and you have 44 to 45 member states that would make up a future EU, a powerful, political, economic, governmental force in our world. Libya's Colonel Gaddafi said recently this united Europe including the Middle Eastern states looks like the old Roman Empire which is the goal of the EU leaders. Gaddafi is pretty much on target. The ancient borders of the old Roman Empire match the borders of the expanded EU, a step closer to Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

Daniel, the ancient Jewish prophet, in chapters 2 and 7 of his prophecy, wrote 2,500 years ago of the revived Roman Empire as the major player in the Last Days and that would include the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7.

The potential fro regions in the EU, 10 regions as they are calling for, is indeed a scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

THANKS BROTHER!

Recent developments are fascinating, and they POINT to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH AND ACCURACY OF GOD'S WORD!


Love In Christ,
Tom



Christian Quotes 232 - "The Holy Scriptures are
our letters from home." -- Augustine
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« Reply #205 on: October 16, 2008, 11:49:08 AM »

Relations Between Turkey and Arab Countries Enter New Era


The inaugural meeting of foreign ministers between Arab nations and Turkey convened in the largest Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, marking the launch of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum.

The establishment of such a new cooperation mechanism between Turkey and Arab countries ushered in a new era of constructive bilateral ties, politicians and analysts said.

"NEW ERA"

A joint statement issued after the meeting said the participants believed establishment of the forum "will further expand and deepen the relations in all fields between Turkey and the Arab countries by providing an institutional framework to promote cooperation and comprehensive consultations in all fields of mutual trust."

Mohamed Ahmed Hassan Ahmed, Charge d'Affaires of the Sudanese embassy in Turkey, told Xinhua that he believed the meeting signals a "new era" of relations between Arab countries and Turkey, noting that the establishment of such a cooperation mechanism will be "fruitful."

As a pivotal regional power, Turkey's active participation in the Middle East peace process, especially in mediating indirect talks between Syria and Israel, would help solve these chronic issues, he said.

Asked about reasons driving Ankara to reach out to the Arab world, Ahmed said after the cold war, Turkey, faced by globalization, inevitably wants to boost its political and economic clout in the Middle East.

"Turkey really wants a good and big relationship with Arab countries," he said.

Turkish-Arab relations started to improve in the 1980s. Over the past few years, Ankara has taken significant steps to develop and diversify its relations, on both bilateral and multilateral basis, with the Arab world. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has established consultation mechanism with a number of Arab countries.

INTERDEPENDENCY

Addressing the inaugural meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey and Arab states are confronted with similar threats and problems, while they share the same goals and benefit from common opportunities.

"Our countries should cooperate with each other in order to cope with these problems and they (we) should search for solutions together," he said.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa said that the Turks are also affected by the Middle East conflicts, which lead to Ankara's active involvement in helping solve the long-standing Arab-Israeli confrontation.

The Arabs need an "overall relationship" with Turkey, and vice versa, said Moussa on the sidelines of the Turkish-Arab meeting.

The Arab world needs Turkey's cooperation in solving the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the situation in Iraq and Somalia, he said, expecting Turkey's constructive role in these issues.

Unlike its NATO ally the United States, Turkey is now enjoying good relations with all the major players in the region, said Alon Ben-Meir, an analyst on the Middle East affairs.

To achieve this, it has improved relations with Iran, mended a conflict over water with Syria, refrained from being dragged into the war in Iraq, dramatically expanded trade and military cooperation with Israel, and has become directly involved in Palestinian economic development, according to Ben-Meir.

Ziyad Koprulu, a Qatari political expert on the Middle East, said shortly before the opening of Saturday's meeting that Turkey serves as a bridge between Arab and European nations.

The Arabs expect Turkey's EU membership so that the relationship with it would facilitate their communication and cooperation with the 27-member European bloc, said Koprulu.
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« Reply #206 on: October 21, 2008, 10:25:37 PM »

France's Sarkozy calls for European sovereign wealth funds
Tue Oct 21, 10:04 am ET

STRASBOURG (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday backed the creation of sovereign wealth funds in Europe that, when coordinated, could provide an "industrial response" to the financial crisis.

"I'm asking that we think about the possibility of creating, each one of us, sovereign funds and that perhaps they could be coordinated to provide an industrial response to the crisis," he told members of the European Parliament.

Sovereign wealth funds are investment vehicles typically controlled by hydrocarbon-rich countries like Russia or Gulf nations with trillions of dollars at their disposal ready to invest abroad.

The funds, which are generally defined as state-controlled investment vehicles, have been around since the early 1950s but their ranks have swollen in recent years.

However, their rise has been accompanied by fears in some European countries and Washington that the governments controlling sovereign wealth funds could use them to advance their own political and strategic aims.

"I am well aware of disagreements among certain countries" on this subject, Sarkozy said, "but I cannot imagine being told that a united European response was needed for the financial crisis, but not for the economic crisis."

Sarkozy, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, said it was important for the 27-nation bloc to coordinate economic policy as it responds to the crisis.

"Our duty is to ensure that in Europe we can continue to build ships, aircraft, cars," he said.

At a press conference later, Sarkozy said that the idea would allow European governments to invest in industry that they consider to be of "strategic" interest.

"There are a number of big French or European groups whose market value today is a third of what it was six months ago. Yet there exists in the world sovereign funds with considerable means," he said.

He said the EU could take advantage of the funds to buy "strategic assets which have depreciated, until the crisis passes, and then when the market rises again, put the shares back on the market."

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso cautiously welcomed the idea.

"I am not, in principle, against sovereign wealth funds," he told reporters, but added that the EU "must find common rules if possible" to deal with them.

France's Sarkozy calls for European sovereign wealth funds
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« Reply #207 on: October 21, 2008, 11:16:22 PM »

 UAE FM: Joint intensive, continued efforts needed to deal regional, int'l upheavals
 2008-10-19 19:13:37

    ABU DHABI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told an international forum here on Sunday that joint intensive and continued efforts are needed to deal with upheavals in both regional and international arenas, Emirates News Agency reported.

    Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks in his keynote address at the ministerial meeting of the fifth Forum for the Future.

    "We meet today amid regional and international upheavals which require our joint intensive and continued efforts to surmount them wisely, rationally and with political foresight and will," he said.

    In his address, Sheikh Abdullah stressed "the prevailing regional frustration as a result of delay in the Middle East peace process" and other challenges in the region including lack of development, poverty, illiteracy, extremism and unemployment.

    All those factors are an obstacle to a prosperous and peaceful future in the Middle East, and therefore, "reform in the Middle East is a national demand," the UAE foreign minister said.

    Reform "is a necessity for the present and the future; the extent and means of reforms differ from one country to another, according to each country's past and current environment, capabilities and culture," he added.

    He also spoke of "the need to develop an international security architecture that includes economic, cultural and social elements in its military dimension."

    "Confronting the challenges threatening the human race must remain an imperative part of our core activities in the future. Among such issues are those concerning health, environment, competition for resources, migration and the brain drain," he said.

    Foreign ministers and senior officials from 38 countries attended the opening session of the forum, which is co-chaired by the UAE and Japan, the current president of the group of eight (G8) industrial nations.

    The UAE hopes that results of the forum will be positive toward building cultural cooperation, confidence, peaceful coexistence, stable and secure environment and sustainable development, Assistant Undersecretary of the UAE foreign ministry Tariq Ahmed Al Haydan said Saturday at the forum's preparatory meetings.

    The forum was launched in December 2004 in Rabat, capital of North African country Morocco. It was seen as one of the concrete steps toward implementing the declaration titled "Partnership for Progress and a Common Future with the Region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa" adopted at the G8 summit at the Sea Island, Georgia of the United States in June 2004.

UAE FM: Joint intensive, continued efforts needed to deal regional, int'l upheavals
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« Reply #208 on: October 21, 2008, 11:18:05 PM »

EU foreign policy chief in Middle East for closer ties with GCC
10/20/2008 10:59 AM ET

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who is on a Middle East tour to discuss relations between the EU and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), arrived in Saudi Arabia Monday.

He is expected to meet with Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and foreign minister Saud al-Faisal later in the day.

The talks will also cover the latest developments in the Middle East peace process and Tehran's nuclear file, the EU said.

On the first leg of his five-day tour, Solana met UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al- Nahyan, foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

His tour is also meant to prepare the groundwork for the signing of the free trade agreement between the two entities.

In the UAE, Solana told reporters that in a world that is getting smaller each day, the Gulf has become closer to Europe than anytime in the last five decades.

From Saudi Arabia, he will proceed to Qatar Tuesday. His trip will conclude Wednesday after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

EU foreign policy chief in Middle East for closer ties with GCC
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« Reply #209 on: October 22, 2008, 12:11:50 AM »

EU Drops Concerns for Security, Press Israel for 'Good Will'
10/20/08
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

(IsraelNN.com)

The United States and European Union (EU) have blamed Israel for the lack of progress in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and insist on more "goodwill" measures while omitting concerns about terrorist attacks.

Previous statements always have included the condition of security for Israel which has been directed to make more concessions to the PA, such as removing checkpoints intended to stop terrorists before they can attack.

However, the latest statement by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering ignores the issue of security and lays the blame squarely on Israel for failure to conclude negotiations.

He said that the expansion of Jewish communities and the IDF's maintaining checkpoints in Judea and Samaria "are the two outstanding issues to be resolved in the Middle East conflict." In a recent speech to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly in Jordan, Poettering said expanding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria "is undermining the Palestinians' confidence."

He also charged that the checkpoints' "extremely restricted freedom of movement of the Palestinians prevents investment in and recovery of the Palestinian economy." In the past week, soldiers manning the checkpoints have caught several terrorists brandishing weapons and trying to smuggle bombs.

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to show some kind of achievement after more than 20 trips to Israel and the PA. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters that the question of who is leading the Israeli government is holding up negotiations.

"Once you do get an Israeli government that is fully up and running and ready to actively push forward on that front, we'll see where those discussions lead," he told reporters.

EU Drops Concerns for Security, Press Israel for 'Good Will'
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