UPDATE: The independent pro EU website EUbusiness.com chose to make the failed water deal an “Israeli driven failed water deal”. The following article from ANSAmed reports on the same story, but includes extra information that EUbusiness left out.
Med water conference ends in failure due to Israel-Arab row
13 April 2010, EUbusiness.com
(BARCELONA) – Talks aimed at adopting a water management strategy for the Mediterranean failed Tuesday due to a row between Israel and Arab countries over a reference to the Palestinian territories, participants said.The stalemate was seen as a strong blow against the nascent 43-nation Mediterranean Union, which was set up two years ago to foster cooperation in one of the world’s most volatile regions.“Unfortunately we can not reach an agreement,” French secretary of state for European affairs Pierre Lellouche said at the end of the 4th Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water in Barcelona where the body is based.The conference aimed to reach an agreement on a strategy for managing fresh water in the Mediterranean to ensure equal access to the non-renewable resource and prevent the issue from becoming a source of conflict in the future.But a reference to “occupied territories” in a proposed draft text prevented the approval of a final accord event though delegates were in agreement on 99 percent of the technical issues related to water management”, said Lellouche.Israel disagreed with this wording while Arab nations opposed to the alternative formulation of “territories under occupation” proposed by European participants, he added.The head of the body, Jordan’s Ahmad Masa’deh, said he was saddened by the failure to reach an agreement at the conference because it “casts doubt on the future of the Mediterranean Union.”