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French president calls for creation of Mediterranean Union
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14:51, October 24, 2007

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited heads of states and governments concerned to meet in France in June 2008 for the creation of a Mediterranean Union, said reports from the northern Moroccan port city of Tangier Tuesday.

The organization would be "a political, economic and cultural union founded on the principles of strict equality," said Sarkozy, who is on a three-day official visit to the north African country.

The French president said that he would consult all the leaders of the countries bordering the Mediterranean on the conference agenda and brief them on his 10 concrete projects.

Nations which are not directly on the banks of the Mediterranean but are "concerned" were also invited to the summit as observers, he added.
The body was modeled on a precursor to the European Union (EU) but would be different from the EU, Sarkozy said.

He proposed that the EU should be involved in the creation of the union and provide necessary assistance to ensure the two blocs complement each other.

The project of the union, which is supposedly composed of 16 Mediterranean countries, was put forward by Sarkozy when he was in the race for the French presidency. He has made the Mediterranean region one of his diplomatic priorities since assuming the duties of president in May this year.

Source: Xinhua

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