The Union for the Mediterranean conference on water strategy, held in Barcelona on 13 April, has ended in “resounding failure,” reports El Periódico de Catalunya. Water, the Barcelona daily comments, is a "scarce resource with difficult access for millions of people" but the gathering of 43 member countries, including all 27 EU states, became enmired on semantic issues related to the Israel/Palestine conflict. While Israel refused to endorse any strategy document mentioning the “Occupied Territories”, Arab states snubbed the compromise term “territories under occupation” that was acceptable to the former’s Infrastructures minister. The Spanish Presidency of EU and the two co-presidencies France and Egypt lamented the parties’ inability to transcend the Middle East conflict, the Catalan daily reports, adding that hopes on a new deal now hinge on the gathering of UfM environment ministers on 21 to 22 April in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
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