Egypt May Boycott Med Summit

Egypt and Syria may boycott the Med Summit in Spain Tuesday, but Foreign Minister Lieberman says he will attend. “”It’s their problem.”

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 11:45

Foreign Minister Lieberman
Foreign Minister Lieberman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday morning he will attend a Mediterranean summit at the 43-member Mediterranean Union headquarters in Barcelona in early June despite reports that Egypt and Syria will boycott his appearance.

"I am intending to be there and I will be there," he said in an Israeli radio interview from Japan, where he is on an official tour.

Lieberman, who is to be accompanied by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, added that an Arab boycott would be a "slap in the face for Spain. We don't tell Syria who to send and no one can tell us who should attend as part of the Israeli delegation. We don't boycott anyone and as for those that won't attend -- that's their problem."

Egypt has distanced itself from Lieberman ever since he took office more than a year ago. His Egyptian counterpart gave him the cold shoulder because of Lieberman’s remark that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could “go to hell” for refusing to visit Jerusalem. The only time Mubarak ever came to the capital prior to Lieberman's tenure was for the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

The European Union-funded 'Invest in Med' project is holding its third conference June 3-4 as part of its aim to foster cooperation among Middle East nations, including Israel. More than 400 investors and business owners are expected to attend and to discuss alternative energy, maritime and land routes and the problem of pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.