Barcelona, 26 June, 2013. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) organized today a meeting with Arab Financial Institutions and Development Agencies at its premises in Barcelona. The meeting, entitled “Creating Synergies: the power of working together”, and also attended by representatives of the Arab League and Arab embassies in Madrid, aimed at strengthening the relationship between partners of the region to develop further regional activities and projects under topics of common interests as well as to identify future concrete actions.
During the meeting, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, called for the development of a new partnership between the Union for the Mediterranean and the Gulf countries: “This partnership should be based on the development of a political strategic dialogue followed by a concrete action plan between the UfM and the Gulf countries in the framework of a ministerial meeting. Also, it is very important to call for the creation of a specific financial institution to address the priorities of the region”.
The Director of the Regional office for the Maghreb countries at the Islamic Development Bank Group, Abderrahman El Glaoui, talked about the new perspectives of cooperation with the UfM Secretariat, highlighting the contribution of the Islamic Development Bank to the project of the Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip. He stated that: “Many of the strategies and interventions of the Islamic Development Bank are in harmony with the objectives and concerns of the Union for the Mediterranean. We need to find ways and means to stimulate cooperation and create synergies between the UfM and our institutions, for the benefit of our common Mediterranean region.”
UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi said that: “I hope we could start today to develop over time strong partnership and strengthen bridges between Europe, Southern Mediterranean and the Gulf region. What we need today in our region is the creation of synergies between all actors in the Mediterranean in order to strengthen the regional dimension of our cooperation through the development of concrete projects”.
At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to continue the dialogue by convening a second meeting in the Gulf region in fall of 2013.