France hosts Mediterranean conference without heads of state

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PARIS (AP) — France is hosting a conference aimed at boosting cooperation between northern and southern Mediterranean countries, with senior government officials, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academics in attendance.

President Emmanuel Macron took part in talks at the “Summit of the Two Shores” in the southern French port of Marseille on Monday.

Participants from Mauritania, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Spain, Italy, France, Malta and Portugal addressed a range of issues covering sustainable development, education, culture and access to technology, in the presence of foreign ministers from the 10 countries.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the summit was an opportunity to “revive multilateralism.”

The chaotic situation in Libya and the political crisis in Algeria didn’t allow a meeting of heads of states as initially planned when Macron launched the initiative last year.

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