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Paris prepares for launch of Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union

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Paris prepares for launch of Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union
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The stage is being set in Paris for the launch of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pet project, the Mediterranean Union.

Just after his election last year, Sarkozy spoke of “a great dream of peace and a great dream of civilisation.”

But, with few European Union leaders sharing his enthusiasm, the production has since been scaled down.

One point on which Sarkozy can still congratulate himself is the cast list.

The last Euro-Med summit in Barcelona was attended by just one one Arab head of state.

Tomorrow in Paris, Syrian President Bachar al-Assad will not only be able to meet his new Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman, but will be sat at the same table as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The only leader to have turned down the invitation is Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, an outspoken critic of the project.

In total, leaders from 43 EU and Mediterranean coastal nations will be there to see if there is substance to what critics have brushed off as ‘Club Med.’