Moroccan King calls for a strong 'Arab Maghreb Federation'

In a speech before the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly on Saturday, the king said that fulfilling dreams of a strong Arab Maghreb requires strengthening bilateral ties among the five Maghreb countries, as well as "engagement projects that enhance the status and path of the federation."

The call comes amidst the ongoing dispute between Morocco and Algeria over the Western Sahara.

"The federation is no longer an option, nor is it a political luxury. It has become a popular demand and a strategic regional necessity."

The king criticized the closure of borders which "contradicts with the founding charter of the federation" and "the requirements of geographic integration," and "goes against the interests of the Maghreb countries which look forward to unity and integration."

"Those who think that one nation is able to solve problems of security and stability alone are mistaken," he stressed, citing the security and development challenges facing the Sahel and Sahara regions.

Further, the Moroccan king expressed his support for the democratic transition in Tunisia.

Saturday's visit is the first by the Moroccan king since the ouster of the Ben Ali's regime in 2011.

02/06/2014