43-Nation Mediterranean Union Created

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/13/43-nation-mediterranean-u_n_112394.html

PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the disparate and conflicted countries around the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday to make peace as European rivals did in the 20th century as he launched an unprecedented Union for the Mediterranean.

"The European and the Mediterranean dreams are inseparable," he told leaders from more than 40 nations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. "We will succeed together; we will fail together."

The union Sarkozy championed as a pillar of his presidency brought together around one table for the first time dignitaries such rival nations as Israel and Syria, Algeria and Morocco, Turkey and Greece.

Coping with age-old enmities involving their peoples and others along the Mediterranean shores will be a central challenge to the new union encompassing some 800 million people.

"We will build peace in the Mediterranean together, like yesterday we built peace in Europe," Sarkozy said. He insisted the new body would not be "North against south, not Europe against the rest ... but united."

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, co-presiding the summit with Sarkozy, said: "We are linked by a common destiny."