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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fireworks in the Med

Apparently, it is a week of fireworks here in Malta. Alas, being some distance from the capital we can hear them but not see them. Walking out of the hotel in Attard last night on our way to the Presidential Palace for a reception, the noise was overwhelming. It was as if a small war was being waged. Yet, we were unable to enjoy the compensation of actually witnessing the show.

Much of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference so far has centred around peace and security in the Europe and in particular, the Mediterranean. There was an interesting contribution this morning from one guest speaker discussing demographic changes in the Mediterranean region. It seems that the previous population mix of one third Middle Eastern/North African and two thirds European has been reversed in recent years. This has caused tension and misunderstanding, often leading to conflict.

In that short passage I have massively oversimplified the argument but it was a thought-provoking point nevertheless and indicates the need for more tolerance if we are to resolve complex areas of conflict in this region.
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