Key Arab summit postponed

A key North African summit due in Algiers on Tuesday and Wednesday has been postponed due to regional disagreements.

    Qadhafi was due to attend after abandoning weapons programme

    Algerian Foreign Minister Abd al-Aziz Bilkhadim said on Monday the much-awaited five-nation Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) summit, the first to be held since 1994, was postponed at the formal request of Libya.
     
    A senior Arab diplomat earlier told Reuters the summit had been indefinitely shelved due to the long-running dispute between neighbours Algeria and Morocco over the mineral-rich territory of Western Sahara.

    Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi had been due to attend the meeting, aimed at creating a free trade zone, after promising to abandon a weapons of mass destruction programme.

    The AMU is made up of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia who together have 80 million people. It was set up in 1989 to mirror the European Union, but never took off because of a rift between neighbours Algeria and Morocco.

    The union plunged into crisis on Sunday when Morocco said King Muhammad would not attend.

    Morocco's official news agency MAP said the presidency of the AMU had been transferred to Libya from Algeria.

    No date was given for the next summit, but diplomats said they doubted the Union could survive following the latest postponement.

    The EU and United States have been pushing the North African countries to settle their various differences after the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    Tracee Herbaugh's mother, Sharon, abandoned her when she was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.