Libya-Mauritania Agreement to Revitalize the Arab Maghreb Union Undermines Algeria’s Plan

Tripoli and Nouakchott remain committed to the Arab Maghreb Union after rejecting involvement in an initiative to create a new bloc that excludes Morocco

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh discussed the conditions of the Arab Maghreb Union and ways to strengthen its regional and international role with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazaouani. These discussions come after the failure of the initiative launched by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to create a new Maghreb bloc excluding Morocco. Developments have shown that the initiative was stillborn, as both Mauritania and Libya rejected it.

The Facebook page “Hakomatouna” reported that Dbeibeh met with Ould Ghazaouani during the inauguration ceremony of Mahamat Idriss Déby as the elected president of Chad. They agreed to coordinate the convening of the Libyan-Mauritanian High Commission.

The Libyan Prime Minister also invited the Mauritanian President to visit Libya to continue consultations and discuss bilateral issues.

In April, Tunisia hosted a consultative meeting with President Kais Saied, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and the President of the Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi to discuss the creation of a new Maghreb bloc. Morocco and Mauritania did not attend the meeting.

Less than 24 hours after the Tunis meeting, Tripoli sent a message to Moroccan King Mohammed VI, affirming its “commitment to reviving the Arab Maghreb Union as the sole framework for Maghreb countries seeking integration and achieving the aspirations of their peoples for stability and prosperity.”

Libya’s position reveals Tripoli’s categorical refusal to participate in an initiative that had little chance of success, especially since it excluded Morocco, ignoring its significant role in the Maghreb region, despite Tebboune‘s denials of attempts to undermine the Arab Maghreb Union.

Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf tried to promote the initiative, stating in previous media remarks that “the Arab Maghreb Union, established 35 years ago, is on life support and inactive.”

The Arab Maghreb Union exists and includes Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Libya, with a total population of about 120 million and an area of 6 million square kilometers, representing 40% of the Arab world’s area.

Observers believe Algeria bears responsibility for the Arab Maghreb Union’s failure to achieve its goals due to its role in prolonging the conflict over the Moroccan Sahara and its hostility towards the kingdom, supporting the Polisario Front and its separatist claims.

One of the main objectives of the Arab Maghreb Union is to achieve consensus among member states and to pursue close diplomatic cooperation based on constructive dialogue, according to its founding treaty.

The Algerian initiative comes in the context of frantic attempts to counter Moroccan successes, including the Atlantic Initiative launched by the kingdom to facilitate access for Sahel countries to the vital maritime corridor. Many experts have stated that this presents a historic opportunity to resolve the economic and social crises in the region.

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