Libya says Israel's Gaza bombs also killed Med Union

Arabs and Israelis agreed in November to help run the union of 43 countries, which was first proposed by France.

Libya says Israel's Gaza bombs also killed Med Union

Libya said on Sunday the Union for the Mediterranean, launched last year, was dead because of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Arabs and Israelis agreed in November to help run the union of 43 countries, which was first proposed by France and aims to boost ties between rich Europe and the poor south.

Proponents say the grouping would lead to concrete projects to further economic development, food, water and energy security and protect the Mediterranean environment.

But the Libyan presidency of the Maghreb Arab Union (UMA) of north African countries said Israel's Gaza offensive was the "only recognisable project" since the union was formed.

"It is a visible project -- the sound of the bombs, the flames, the smoke. The victims are tangible and are buried by the thousand," the UMA presidency's office in Tripoli said in a statement sent via Libyan state news agency JANA.

It was reacting to comments from a French foreign ministry spokesman who said last week that Mediterranean Union projects would favour stability, economic development and solidarity.

The Union "has been killed by Israeli bombs and, added to that, the Palestinian missiles... It is burned and has become a motionless corpse," the Libyan statement said.

The UMA would continue to work with northern neighbours through the so-called "Five Plus Five" dialogue between 10 Mediterranean countries, but the Union for the Mediterranean should be scrapped, it said.

"The time-wasting, play-acting and ridiculous spectacles must end," it added.

The UMA, comprising Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, was set up in 1989 in the hope of creating a free trade zone and closer cooperation, but progress has been slow.

Libya coordinates much of its work but member countries have different views regarding ties with their northern neighbours.


Reuters

Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2009, 13:33
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