Morocco, Algeria optimistic as to Maghreban Union's future
Maghreb, Politics, 2/16/1999
Morocco and Algeria voiced optimism as to the future of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), which celebrates on Wednesday the 10th anniversary of its creation.
"The second decade in the union's life will witness positive and decisive developments, dictated by the wisdom of our peoples (...), the inevitable movement of progress and the need to take up the challenges of the third millinery," said King Hassan II in a message to Tunisian President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali.
The Union set up in 1989 in Marrakesh, southern Morocco, by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, has been paralyzed since 1994, when Morocco asked for the freezing of the union's activities to protest Algeria's direct intervention in the Sahara issue.
Ben Ali had sent end of last week a similar message to King Hassan II, wherein he called for reactivating the UMA.
"It is with great joy and consideration that we received your warm congratulations on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the UMA. We were moved by your initiative, full of hope and optimism for the prosperous future of our region," King Hassan II said.
"We share with you this immense hope and this great optimism, starting from our unshakable belief in the materialization of this cherished objective," he added.
In Algiers, spokesman of the Algerian foreign department, Abdelaziz Sebaa, told the press that Algeria is "determined" to "help the Maghreban union overcome the juncture problems" and materialize the aspirations of the peoples of the region to integration.
Sebaa said his country is attached to the edification of the Maghreb as a civilizational project, adding that the project "materializes legitimate aspirations of the Maghreban peoples."
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