No alternative to Maghreb Union, says Moroccan minister
Maghreb-Morocco, Politics, 12/23/2003
The Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation has insisted on the vital importance of the Arab Maghreb Union, saying there is no alternative to such a Union provided it preserves each member country's territorial integrity.
Mohammed Benaissa, who was addressing, Sunday, the foreign ministers council of this North African regional grouping, said that in order to be efficient, the Union's action should be driven by commitments for a "sincere cooperation in a climate of confidence and mutual respect," to consolidate regional security and stability.
The Moroccan minister was speaking at the opening of the two-day council meeting in preparation of the 7th summit of UMA heads of states that was due to start Tuesday but was postponed on Monday at the request of Libya, which gave no reason for its decision.
Only two heads of states, Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali were to attend this summit after the three others, Morocco's king, Mauritania's president, and Libya's leader were reportedly not going to show up for unspecified reasons.
In his speech, Benaissa said such commitments are "organically linked to Maghreb construction and to the necessity of preserving national assets and the territorial integrity of each member State, which remains above all considerations."
He insisted "there is no alternative to dialogue to lower artificial barriers inherited from the past, and no alternative to Maghreb construction either."
"Our common potentials should be employed in materializing a historic goal cherished by our Maghreb generations and elites," he said, hoping this strong political will will be used with courage and clairvoyance to overcome disagreements and difficulties hampering the Maghreb building process.
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