Algeria wants a so-called “United Maghreb” without Morocco

Algeria wants a so-called “United Maghreb” without Morocco

After destroying the initial five-state Maghreb Union, Algeria has brought together cash-strapped Tunisia and war-torn Libya in a bid to create a new regional union.

Mauritania has faced pressure to join the threesome of authoritarian regimes facing bleak economic and social stability prospects.

As it continues to pedal towards autocracy, Tunisia under President Kais Saied has sapped its Arab Spring democratic achievements verging on default, while Libya is a de-facto divided state mired in chaos and instability.

Algeria’s president said the leaders of the three Maghreb states – including the Tripoli based government- will be meeting once in a quarter to discuss regional issues.

President Tebboune had called Mauritanian president to inform him of the initiative, according to the Algerian presidency, in an apparent bid to pressure Mauritania to join the new alliance of failed economies.

But Mauritanian President, who lost his main bodyguard in a recent visit to Algiers, has neither commented nor promised to join the new alliance.

With such manoeuvres, Algeria puts the final nail in the Maghreb coffin. After decades of backing separatist militias in Morocco, Algeria has lost credibility in backing Libya’s western faction against the Haftar-led east. It has backed authoritarianism in once-democratic Tunisia and then withdrew its staff from the Rabat-based Arab Maghreb Union.

Last year, secretary general of the Maghreb Union urged Algeria to pay its due contribution and return its staff who have been receiving their pay without working.

The new alliance came at a context Morocco fosters ties with its southern African neighborhood while continuing its open arms policy urging Algeria to open borders and build a united Maghreb.

In seeking to isolate Morocco at all costs, Algeria has been taking self-harming decisions that ended up isolating itself.

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