Foreign Minister: Union for the Mediterranean unsuccessful

Egypt does not view the Union for the Mediterranean as successful, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Araby on Tuesday.

At a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor Baconschi, Araby said the initiative may have to be entirely reconsidered at the appropriate time.

Araby described relations between Egypt and Romania as strong, adding that there is cooperation between the two countries in several fields through the Union for the Mediterranean.

Araby added that Israel is an obstacle to the union, since, “It is recognized by Egypt, yet refuses to recognize the existence of occupied Arab land."

The Union for the Mediterranean, launched in 2008 upon the initiative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, includes countries overlooking the Mediterranean.

The Union seeks to circumvent political problems in the Mediterranean region, particularly in the Middle East, through cooperation projects in the fields of environment, water and energy.

However, the lack of progress towards peace, largely blamed on Israel, has had a negative impact on the union.

The first and only summit of the Union for the Mediterranean was held in France in 2008.

The second summit was postponed twice last year, the first time in June when Israel refused to stop building settlements, and the second in November when no progress was made towards a peaceful settlement to the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said at the time that Egypt's participation in the second summit was dependent on the progress of peace negotiations between the two sides.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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