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CFC In Focus: The Arab Maghreb Union, 15 January 2013

CFC In Focus: The Arab Maghreb Union, 15 January 2013

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Published by CFC Cimicweb

This document provides the ‘In Focus’ excerpt from the MB Weekly 15 January 2013. The ‘In Focus’ section of the weekly gives our readership a more detailed reporting of an event or topic of particular relevance in the Mediterranean Basin and other regions of interest. ‘In Focus’ pieces provide hyperlinks to source material highlighted and underlined in the text.

This document provides the ‘In Focus’ excerpt from the MB Weekly 15 January 2013. The ‘In Focus’ section of the weekly gives our readership a more detailed reporting of an event or topic of particular relevance in the Mediterranean Basin and other regions of interest. ‘In Focus’ pieces provide hyperlinks to source material highlighted and underlined in the text.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: CFC Cimicweb on Jan 18, 2013
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09/17/2013

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CIVIL
-
MILITARY FUSION CENTRE
MEDITERRANEAN BASIN TEAM PRESENTS
 
IN FOCUS
 
The Arab Maghreb Union
 
By Eray Basar
 
This document provides the ‘In Focus’ excerpt from the MB Weekly
08
14 January
 
 2013
. The ‘In Focus’ section of the weekly gives our read-
ership a more detailed reporting of an event or topic of particular relevance in
the Mediterranean Basin and other regions of interest. ‘ 
In
Focus’ pieces provide hyperlinks to source material
highlighted and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the members of the Med Basin Team, or visit our website atwww.cimicweb.org. 
Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises
 
As highlighted by the Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Habib Ben Yahia, Islamic countries in general, and theMaghreb region in particular, face “agricultural, financial, and social crises” that impose “cross
-
 border challenges and which requirecross
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 border solutions” thereby suggesting a joint action and cooperation in the Maghreb is essential. The Arab Maghreb Union,which comprises the five North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, exists to strengthen historical ties and ensure regional stability and cooperation. An initial attempt at regional integration was made in 1964 among the same coun-tries, with the exception of Mauritania, through the establishment of the
 Permanent Consultative Committee of the Maghreb(PCCM)
. Though never fully operationalised, the initiative was designed to harmonise development efforts and coordinate tradeamong the four countries and enhance relations with the European Union (EU). In 1988, new factors brought the leaders of the fivestates together in Algeria to establish various commissions, including the Maghreb High Commission, subsequently signing a treatyto establish the AMU in 1989.In addition tostrengthening ties among its members, the AMU aims at freer movement of persons, services, goods and capital, and the integration of policies. The common policy outlined in the treaty encompasses diplomatic cooperation, safeguarding of the inde- pendence of each member, realising the industrial, agricultural, commercial, and social development of member states through joint projects, and the establishment of a cultural, religious and educational exchange network.The AMU has never reached itsfull potential,as long
-
standing quarrels amongst the member countries have impeded its effective-ness. In particular, relations between Algeria and Morocco remain deadlocked over Western Sahara. Morocco, refusing any conces-sion on Western Sahara, has complained about Algerian support to the Polisario front for the independence of the disputed territory.As a result, borders between the two countries have remained closed for over a decade and bilateral trade has been subjected to nu- merous tariff and non
-
tariff barriers. In addition, relations between Mauritania and Libya became strained in 2005 when Mauritaniaaccused Libyan secret services of involvement in anattempted military coup in Mauritania. Algeria’s domestic struggles in 1990s –  thecancellation of election results when an Islamist party gained majority votes, the ensuing civil war and the rise of Islamist funda- mentalism and terrorism – further hindered the AMU. Mauritania implemented structural reform programmes under the supervisionof the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Tunisia and Morocco focused more on their bilateral relations with theEU.While the countries of the AMU signed over thirty agreements on varying subjects, including trade, tariffs, investment guarantees,taxation, and phyto
-
sanitary standards,only five of them were actually ratified by all five members. Although each country showed a rise in the volume of aggregate bilateral trade among the member states, intra
-
AMU trade is still very limited. North Africa account-ed for the lowestintra
-
regional trade figures in the world at only three per cent.Despite the setbacks of the pre
-
Arab Spring period on the operations of the AMU, recent months have brought some positive devel-opments for the union. Following pro
-
democracy movements in these countries, the Maghreb communityrevived the AMU, conven-
 Excerpted from15 January 2013 
 
The Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC) is an information and knowledge management organisation focused on improving civil-military interaction,facilitating information sharing and enhancing situational awareness through theCimicWeb portal and our weekly and monthly publications. CFC products link to and are based on open-source information from a wide variety of organisations, research centres and media sources. However, theCFC does not endorse and cannot necessarily guarantee the accuracy or objectivity of these sources.
CFC publications are independently produced by Desk Officers and do not reflect NATO policies or positions of any other organisation.

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