Tunisia seeks to save Maghreb union

Tunisia's president tried to salvage the Arab Maghreb Union in a phone call to Libyan President Muammar al-Qadhafi on Thursday.

    President bin Ali is pressing for reform of the 16-year-old body

    The call by Zain al-Abidin bin Ali came a day after

    Libya announced the end of its presidency of the group, insisting the North

    African body had failed to achieve its goal of cooperation.

    Bin Ali expressed his concern to the Libyan leader about the decision,

    then contacted Algerian President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika to press for reform of

    the 16-year-old body.

    In a statement on Wednesday, the Libyan foreign ministry said "the march of

    the union has stalled and violations are many ... therefore, Libya has

    decided to leave this union to its people".

    The ministry did not make it clear whether Libya would withdraw from the

    union, which groups Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The

    chairmanship rotates among the five heads of state.

    The union was founded in 1988 with an aim of promoting cooperation among

    its members, but has been dogged by disputes.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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