The former Foreign Minister of Spain, Miguel Angel Moratinos, who was replaced on Wednesday by Trinidad Jimenez, told the media that, despite the efforts, he has been unable to achieve peace in Middle East. On Thursday, during his farewell speech, Moratinos said that he left the Ministry with the frustration of not being able to achieve two major objectives: peace in the Middle East and resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara.
Since Moratinos was appointed Spanish Foreign Minister in 2004, he advanced from head of the Middle East Department in Spain, to the embassy in Tel Aviv. He was the most visible representative of the Europeans to the region, and the only foreign observer in the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians at Taba in 2001.
Moratinos visited Jerusalem and Ramallah several times, and countries nearby Israel-Palestine such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria as well, in order to reinforce international mediation. His last visit to the region was on 11 October 2010. Along with his counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, Moratinos met with the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian authorities to focus on the Middle East peace process, which is critical at this time.
According to Haaretz News, with his departure, the peace camp is losing a very important European advocate, probably the most important since the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991.