Prince Hassan calls for EU-style MidEast union

By Bernard Josephs, July 9, 2009
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The Prince (right) at a Middle East conference in London in 2002

The Prince (right) at a Middle East conference in London in 2002

An impassioned plea for Middle East nations to form an EU-style organisation to deal with human rights, the environment and the scarcity of water has been made in London by Jordan’s Prince Hassan.

Addressing an audience of diplomats and British supporters of Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam — a village in central Israel where Jews and Arabs live together in equality — the Prince warned that time was running out for the region.

Economic and social cohesion were essential to the security concerns of Israel and the Arab world. “We are mutually dependent,” he said.
“Time is wasting and people are suffering simply because they lack the basic elements of good governance.”

Israel was an integral part of the region and together with its Arab neighbours should set up an economic community in Western Asia, said Prince Hassan.

The main concerns of such an organisation, he added, would be water, the environment and human dignity. It could be set up in Jerusalem where it would be a light to the region.

“People have to be looked at as people. Are we not drinking the same water and breathing the same air?

“It is time for real peace in which both the Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinians are part. The voices of the people of our region are seldom heard, and I believe that what is important is to reduce the space for the voices of extremism.”

    Last updated: 2:20pm, July 9 2009