Paris - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was expected Monday in Paris for a two-day official visit including talks with Nicolas Sarkozy on France's plans for a new Mediterranean Union.

Mubarak, who flew out of Cairo Monday morning, was to meet the French president for a working dinner on Tuesday to discuss the union, as well as the broader security situation in the Middle East, according to the French presidency.

It is the third meeting between the Egyptian and French leaders since Sarkozy's election a year ago.

The French president travelled to Egypt in December for his first official trip to the Middle East, following a private holiday with his girlfriend Carla Bruni, now France's first lady.

During that trip Sarkozy hardened his tone towards Syria, demanding it allow Lebanon to end its long-running political crisis, while calling on Israel to demonstrate its commitment to peace with the Palestinians.

Sarkozy's advisor Henri Guaino early this month delivered a message to Mubarak singling Egypt out as an "essential, decisive and unavoidable" partner for the Mediterranean Union championed by the French leader.

The union project -- which met with a cool welcome from some of France's European partners -- is to be officially launched at a summit of European and Mediterranean leaders in Paris on July 13.