A plan to join the 27 states of the European Union and countries bordering the Mediterranean, including North Africa, has been launched and led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Dubbed the “Union for the Mediterranean”, the plan is outlined as aiming to improve energy supply, fight pollution, and strengthen the surveillance of maritime traffic, among other goals.
Sengal’s President Abdoulaye Wade has criticized the plan, claiming that the union will divide Africa into two separate groups. “Africans should now brace themselves to face up to the consequence of the departure of some African states from the African Union in favor of Europe,” Wade says, pointing out that “there are other obvious goals behind the Union for the Mediterranean initiative like Algeria’s oil and gas and Libyan oil.”
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi also describes the plan as “divisive and dangerous to African and Arab unity.”