31 January 2017

North Africa: The Flame of the Arab Maghreb Union Has Faded, Because Faith in a Common Interest Has Vanished - HM the King

Addis Ababa — HM King Mohammed VI said here on Tuesday that the flame of the Arab Maghreb Union has faded, because faith in a common interest has vanished.

"The mobilizing momentum of the Maghreb ideal, advocated by the pioneers in the 1950s, has been betrayed," the Sovereign noted in a speech at the 28th African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa.

"We regret to see that the Maghreb Union is the least integrated region in the African continent, if not in the whole world," the Sovereign said.

While intra-regional trade has reached 10% between ECOWAS countries and 19% between SADC countries, it is still stagnating at less than 3% between Maghreb countries, HM the King noted.

"While West African Economic Community countries are moving forward in ambitious integration projects and ECOWAS is offering a reliable space for free movement of persons, goods and capital, economic cooperation between Maghreb countries is at a low level," the Monarch added.

"If we do not act, by following the example of neighboring African sub-regions, the Maghreb Union will crumble in its chronic incapacity to live up to the ambitions of the Marrakesh Treaty, which gave birth to it 28 years ago," the Sovereign said.

"All this confirms that Morocco is right to choose Africa. By doing so, my country has opted to share and transfer its know-how; in concrete terms, it is offering to build a safe, solidarity-based future," HM the King said, adding that "we are proud to see history has proved us right."

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