Israel & Palestine may compete in Med Games

ROME - Israeli and Palestinian teams should compete in the 2013 Mediterranean Games, Italy's foreign minister said on Tuesday as he looked forward to this year's event in the earthquake-hit region of Abruzzo.

The four-yearly competition involves 23 nations with links to the Mediterranean, but not Israel.

"Italy is working so that Israeli and Palestinian teams will compete in the next Mediterranean Games in Greece," Franco Frattini (pictured) told a news conference.

Frattini said this year's Games in Pescara, from June 26 to July 5, would be the perfect opportunity to spread a message of peace given that the region had come together following April's earthquake, which killed nearly 300 people.

The inclusion of Israeli and Palestinian athletes in the next edition "would complete a region of peace," he added.

The city of L'Aquila, worst hit by the earthquake, is scheduled to hold part of the soccer tournament at the Pescara Games, which are expected to attract 4,000 athletes in 27 sports.