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African Arab Officials Say Security Pact Needed

Monday, 09 Jul 2012 08:25 PM


Algiers, Algeria — Foreign Ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union on Monday stressed on the need to forge a common security pact as they wrapped up talks in the Algerian capital.

"What is important is that for the first time, foreign ministers have met to to mull a common security strategy," said Abdelkader Messahel, the Algerian minister in charge of African and Maghreb affairs.

"We must respond to the events in the Maghreb. There have been upheavals that have had repercussion on security," he said, calling for better coordination.

The Arab Maghreb Union is a five-nation organization founded in 1989 and whose members are Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Earlier Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said the region was facing "challenges," including the common fight against terrorism, that call for "more efforts to be deployed in order to bolster bilateral and regional cooperation."

"Terrorist activity in the Maghreb region constitutes a huge threat for regional peace and stability," Medelci said.

The deteriorating security situation in the region, namely in Mali, appear to have polarized the five nations into taking action and several ministerial meetings are due to take place this year.

Interior ministers from the five countries will meet in Morocco later this year, while justice ministers will hold talks in Libya, according to a statement at the end of the Algiers meeting.

Leaders of the five countries will then hold a summit in Tunisia before the end of the year.

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