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BRUSSELS: A historic palace in Barcelona is to be the headquarters of a new union between Europe and southern Mediterranean countries after horse-trading among 43 countries solved several disputes blocking progress on greater regional cooperation.
Ministers meeting in Marseille resolved a contest between four cities to host the new Union for the Mediterranean. They also broke a deadlock over how to deal with some of the diplomatic complications arising from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sarkozy's idea for a Mediterranean cooperation organization was controversial and had infuriated Germany because, when first proposed, it appeared to exclude northern EU states. Early diplomatic success at a July summit meeting in Paris gave way to deadlock as officials argued over the group's structure.
Made up of countries as diverse as Israel, Turkey and Syria, the proposed new union has struggled to fulfill Sarkozy's injunction that the southern EU countries and their non-EU neighbors should "realize that their destinies are tied together."
I'm flabbergasted they got Israel to join into any alliance whatsoever with Syria. I wonder if Libia is also in on it...