Gathafi is opposed to the Mediterranean Union
France in Libya talks over Mediterranean Union
Senior French envoy’s talks with Libyan leader focus on Mediterranean zone, African and European Unions.
TRIPOLI – A senior French envoy held talks with Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi on Thursday over plans for a Mediterranean bloc based on the European Union that have drawn criticism from Tripoli, state media said.The envoy, Claude Gueant, held talks that focused “in particular on the Mediterranean zone and the African and European Unions,” the official JANA news agency said.
It gave no details of the outcome of the meeting in Gathafi’s hometown of Sirte on Libya’s central coast.
The Libyan leader had strongly criticised French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s championing of the idea of a Mediterranean Union at an Arab mini-summit in Tripoli on June 10, saying it threatened Arab and African unity efforts.
“We are member states of the Arab League and also the African Union and we will not take any chances with damaging Arab or African Unity,” Gathafi said at the time.
“Our European partners need to understand that. We are in favour of partnership projects but they must take account of these red lines,” he added.
But France later insisted that it intends to press ahead with plans to host a summit of European and Mediterranean leaders in Paris next month after it has taken over the rotating EU presidency.
Several other Mediterranean littoral states have also shown a lack of enthusiasm for the planned Paris summit on July 13.
After talks in Algiers on Sunday with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon that were dominated by the French Mediterranean Union plans, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika declined to confirm that he would attend the planned summit.