Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrived in Palma last night ahead of talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the Formentor Mediterranean Security Summit. Yesterday the Portuguese Prime Minister told Aznar that the current crisis in the Middle East is the “mother of all battles in the Mediterranean” and Arafat added fuel to recent international concern by telling a gathering of hundreds of sympathisers before he took off for Palma from Tunisia, that Jerusalem would be the capital of the future Palestinian state, whether Israel liked it or not. The meeting, which was attended by Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, was organised by the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) to show solidarity with the Palestinians. The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Guterres, said during the Mediterranean security summit at the Hotel Formentor near Port of Pollensa yesterday that the current situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis is “the mother of all conflicts” in the Mediterranean. Guterres, addressing leaders from all Mediterranean states just hours ahead of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's arrival in Majorca for talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, said that the time has come for the Mediterranean states to “reflect” on the situation and decide who poses the greatest threat to the region. The Portuguese prime Minister said that, in his opinion, the enemy is “irrationality and the behaviour of politicians.” He sighted violent nationalism, religious fundamentalism and the resurgence of xenophobia and racism. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said yesterday that the “mobilisation of the Yugoslavian public and Milosevic's fall from power is the final part of the Berlin Wall to fall.” Aznar made the statement over lunch at the Real Club Nautico in the Port of Pollensa with his Portuguese counterpart. Aznar praised the Yugoslavian public and said that they have demonstrated the importance of social mobilisation in order to win freedom and democracy. The Spanish premier said that developments over the past 24 hours in Yugoslavia have been “extraordinarily emotional.” Aznar said that all that remains is for the transition of power to be a peaceful one so that the leader of the opposition Vodislav Kostunica can form a new government. Both leaders hailed events in Yugoslavia as a “great opportunity for a victory of democracy,” but warned that the international community has to now step in and work in “all directions” in order to contribute to establishing a new democratic Yugoslavia.

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