Mideast conflict is "global problem," says Italian prime minister
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared on Monday the Middle East conflict "is not a regional problem, but a global problem," as he announced new Italian aid to Gaza.
Speaking at the opening of an international conference on rebuilding the Gaza Strip, in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh on Monday, the Italian premier suggested a range of measures to rebuild the Palestinian economy.
He said that Italy would contribute aid worth 100 million US dollars to Gaza, saying that "removing differences between the standard of living for Israelis and Palestinians" would pave the way for a lasting peace, reported .
Berlusconi called for building up the West Bank's tourist economy by building an airport in the territory, by building hotels, and for "mega-projects" such as building a canal between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea to replenish the Dead Sea's disappearing waters.
He further called on Palestinian factions to come together to form a government of national unity and on Israelis to form a government "willing to make compromises for the sake of peace."