Sarkozy to discuss Mediterranean Union in Egypt

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PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy will make a pitch for his proposed Mediterranean Union when he pays an official visit to Egypt on Dec. 30 and 31, his spokesman said. Sarkozy will hold talks with President Hosni Mubarak, “whose experience has made him one of the most enlightened observers in the region and on its developments, said presidential spokesman David Martinon. In talks with Mubarak, the president will discuss his proposal for the union grouping countries of the Mediterranean rim that is to be set in motion at a Paris summit in July. Presented as a bridge between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean Union has also been seen as an alternative to Turkish membership into the European Union. Talks between Sarkozy and Mubarak will also touch on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Lebanon, Sudan and the fight against terrorism, Martinon said. The spokesman declined to comment on reports that Sarkozy may travel to Egypt ahead of the official visit for a holiday, possibly with his new companion Carla Bruni, a former supermodel turned pop singer. Sources told AFP that Sarkozy would travel to Luxor on Christmas Day for a two-day visit before heading to the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to spend the holidays with family. He is due to return to Paris on New Year’s Eve. -AFP

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