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Egyptian FM: French-proposed Mediterranean union needs more understanding
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12:28, May 25, 2008

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Saturday a French-proposed Mediterranean union initiative should be well formulated and needs more understanding.

The Egyptian top diplomat told a press conference after some ten Arab foreign ministers met here on Saturday to coordinate stances on "the Union for the Mediterranean" proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Earlier, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, foreign ministers or senior officials of the Mediterranean Arab countries and Jordan held a four-hour meeting to discuss the French proposal, which is evolved from the Barcelona Process.

Barcelona Process was launched in 1995 as the central instrument for Euro-Mediterranean relations, representing a partnership of 39 governments and over 750 million people. The progress lost impetus due to long-running conflicts and tenuous reform efforts.

Terming the meeting as positive, Gheit said an Arab-European meeting to be held on June 9-10 in Slovenia will further discuss the proposal.

On Tuesday, the European Commission adopted proposals for enhancing relations with its Mediterranean partners through a new union with the Mediterranean region.

Sarkozy put forward the idea of establishing such a union last May and the principle was approved by EU's spring summit in March.

Source: Xinhua

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