Monday, November 3, 2008
Barcelona will host the Union for the Mediterranean
The secretary general is a country on the southern shore and there will be five Vice-Secretaries MORE INFORMATION Barroso refuses to go Zapatero Bush in Washington JOSEPH A. SOROLLA MARSEILLES The foreign ministers of the 43 countries that make up the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) last night reached an agreement to be officially made public today, so that the city of Barcelona host the headquarters of the secretariat of the organization, according to diplomatic sources. The consensus was reached at a working dinner of heads of diplomacy, which succeeded in overcoming the obstacles that threatened to block the meeting until then. The introduction in Barcelona's secretariat of the UPM, which will host the Palace of Pedralbes, will return to the secretary general of the new organization will belong to a country on the southern shore, to be appointed in the short term. The secretary general will be accompanied by five Vice-Secretaries, one of which is Israeli and one Palestinian. In fact, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was on the verge of blocking the meeting because Israel did not accept that the Arab League (which brings together 21 Arab states, in addition to Palestine) was observed not only in the ministerial meetings, but also in the technical sessions or preparatory, as demanded by the Arab countries. Finally, this obstacle was released last night. Although the details are unknown, it appears that the Arab organization will have a presence in most of the meetings. NOMINATION OF MALTA Barcelona competed until the last minute with La Valetta (Malta), which yesterday had declined to withdraw his candidacy after a meeting of its representation with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, said Fidel Sendagorta, director general of the Middle East. The Spanish delegation is not expected to end during the discussions appeared another candidate, despite the fact that, following the withdrawal of Tunisia, several countries appeared not give up the secretary was on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. The biggest obstacle to consensus, a formula with which agreements should be adopted in the organization, was the status of the Arab League. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, promised in the constitution of the UPM on July 13 in Paris that the Arab League would have a seat at the UPM. The differences of opinion on the Arab League and resulted in the suspension of a ministerial meeting on October 29 in Jordan to discuss the issue of access to water. Nor have concluded the preparatory sessions of the meeting in Marseille. CONFLICT As in the Barcelona Process, born in 1995 and that UPM is continuing, the Middle East conflict is the basis of most problems. Paradoxically, the Arab-Israeli confrontation has added support for Barcelona because, for example, Syria and Lebanon have endorsed the candidacy Catalan because they did not want an Arab country that hosts the secretariat of an organism in which it is Israel. The duration of the co-chairs of the UPM has also been the subject of debate, because Sarkozy wants to extend it for at least 2009. Other northern countries have already shown their misgivings and argue that the post would last a maximum of six months and which corresponds to EU member exerted by turns the presidency.