Meeting of the Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, Tangier

21-22 March 1997

Tangier was the venue for a meeting on 21 and 22 March of the SI Mediterranean Committee, hosted by the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP, of Morocco and chaired by Raimon Obiols of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE. The Committee continued its ongoing deliberations on the deepening of the Euro-Mediterranean relationship, as well as formulating its hopes and expectations for the second Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference to be held in April in Malta. It adopted a comprehensive resolution on cooperation in the region. The continuing violence and lack of democracy in Algeria was also on the agenda and the Commitee called, in a resolution, for a number of measures to ensure the validity of the forthcoming elections. These included the lifting of restrictions on the democratic opposition, access for all democratic parties to the media, neutrality on the part of the administration, and the right of opposition representatives and international observers to monitor all aspects of the electoral process. The Socialist International will send a mission to observe the elections in Algeria. A further subject of discussion was politics and the media in the Mediterranean region as a whole and the Committee resolved to establish a working group on this important question. In the light of the present crisis in the Middle East peace process, the Committee issued a statement reaffirming support for the Oslo agreements and urging the European Union, and in particular its socialist parties, to play the fullest political role in support of peace. In another resolution, the Committee stressed the important role of women in the work for peace and democracy in the Mediterranean region and called on its member parties to foster the participation of women in the political process and in particular as candidates in forthcoming elections. Delegates also reported on their own national situations.