02 June, 2007
The foreign ministers of the 11-nation Mediterranean Forum convened under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in the city of Rethimno, on the island of Crete, on Friday night and discussed the proposal made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the creation of a Euromediterranean Union.
The discussion was held during a dinner hosted by the Greek foreign minister for her counterparts that was attended by the delegation heads (ministers and deputy ministers).
The French positions were outlined by French Deputy Minister for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet and it was the first time that a representative of the new French government presented ideas on the Euromediterranean Union.
Turkey, for whom this prospect is of great interest, is represented at the Rethimno Forum by Deputy Foreign Minister Ertogrul Apakan.
Bakoyannis will be having a bilateral meeting with Jouyet on Saturday morning, before the beginning of the 14th Mediterranean Forum's ministerial session.
Developments in the Middle East were also discussed during the dinner, due to the crucial situation prevailing in the region and in light of the foreign minister's tour of the Middle East in early June.
Two issues to be discussed during the ministerial session on Saturday are energy cooperation in the region of the Mediterranean and the problem of immigration that is an issue for the Mediterranean's European countries which receive immigrants.
The Mediterranean Forum's annual presidency will be taken after Greece by Portugal, which is being represented at the session by Foreign Minister Luis Amado.
Source: Athens News Agency