On 26 May 2006, the first activity of the International Observatory for Peace in the Mediterranean took place, with a round table discussion at the Universidad San Pablo CEU, which analyzed various issues related to peace and stability in the region after the victory of Hamas.
Chaired by the ambassador. Mr. Ramón Armengol, the round table “100 days after Hamas” was attended by the Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Hon. Mr. Victor Harel; the Delegate of the Palestinian Authority in Spain, Hon. Mr. Musa Amer Odeh; the former Israeli ambassador, Hon. Mr. Samuel Hadas. The head of the Palestinian Organization PANORAMA, Mr. Riad Malki; the President of READI, Jumana Trad; and Professor of the Universidad San Pablo CEU, María Dolores Algora.
Subsequently, the Observatory was renamed the Middle East Studies Center (CEMOFPSC), which is more in line with the nature of the project, as it seeks to look for ways of resolving conflicts in the Middle East through initiatives arising from the study, reflection and dialogue between the various local actors from countries in the south and north of the Mediterranean.
Thus, on 3 February 2007, with the assistance of a group of experts, the official presentation of the CEMOFPSC took place with a working day of the members of the Executive Committee and the Advisory Council of this institution.
Pilar Lara, President of the FPSC, presented the CEMO as an initiative that emerged from the experience of the Foundation’s work in the region and in the service of a better understanding of the complex political, cultural and religious reality of these countries.
The talks were led by three experts, members of the CEMO Executive Committee: Anglo-Lebanese Professor Dr. Nadim Shehadi, Spanish diplomat Dr. Ana Menéndez, and Lebanese expert Dr. Jumana Trad.
Subsequently, on 25 and 26 June, in collaboration with the Community of Madrid and the Business Institute, the seminar “Hope for peace in the Middle East? : FINUL” was held. The meeting brought together a large group of experts in the Middle East to reflect on the role of UNIFIL in the complex scenario of the region, following the war events of the summer of 2006.
The seminar was organized into four panels of experts from Lebanon, Turkey, France, Italy and Spain., which from diverse and complementary fields such as economics, politics, diplomacy, defence and security, and the media approached both the social and political situation in the area and the complex arrangements that UNIFIL must manage for the fulfilment of a peace mission. The interventions and conclusions of the work were collected in a publication of the series Cuadernos CEMOFPSC, which aims to disseminate the reflections of these meetings among scholars and interested public.