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Maghreban Unionists call for reactivating regional union

ArabicNews.com, 17 February 1999

Maghreban trade unions, currently meeting here, called for the reactivation of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), whose activities have been halted since 1994.

Only a strong and united Maghreb can guarantee development and help North African countries take up the challenges of globalization, the Maghreban unionists said at the opening of their two-day council meeting.

Their meeting coincides with the 10th anniversary of the creation of the UMA.

The Union&@8212;which musters Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia—is in a state of paralysis since 1994, when Morocco requested Algeria, then acting chairman, to freeze the union’s activities in protest of Algeria’s direct involvement in the Sahara issue.

Mahjoub Ben Seddiq, secretary-general of the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT), called for materializing the UMA ideals through the working of concrete projects that will benefit the populations.

Other speakers stressed the need to boost the Maghreban union to make of it a credible interlocutor for the other regional groupings, especially the neighboring European Union.

The Maghreban unions council meeting, held once every six months, is attended by representatives of trade unions from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.