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The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU): the forgotten dream

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) was established in 17 Feb 1989 when the five founding members Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania (currently with an overall estimated population of 96 million), signed the Treaty of Marrakesh. The AMU was supposed to be a competitive alternative to the Arab League and the African Union. Politicians and businessmen raised high hopes that AMU would also help the Maghreb use its strategic position between the Atlantic and Mediterranean to function as a trade hub and could serve as a negotiating block to achieve better, closer ties with unified Western Europe, the United States and China.

Highlights:

- 1964 .The first Conference of Maghreb Economic Ministers (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) took place in Tunis.

- 1988 .The first Maghreb Summit of the five Heads of State is held in Algeria.

-1989.The Heads of State of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia finally signed the Treaty establishing the AMU in Marrakech (Morocco).

- AMU has not convened due to differences between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara Since 1994.

- AMU renewal is progressively perceived by Algeria and Morocco as a way to address security and economic challenges common to the five countries - such as inadequate rate of economic growth, domestic unrests and terrorism threat.

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