The Arab Maghreb Union’s (AMU) Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs met in Tunis on Thursday, May 5, where in addition to welcoming the move by Libya’s Presidency Council into Tripoli, the AMU ministers appointed former Tunisian Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche as Secretary General of the regional organization which includes Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia. Secretary General Baccouche replaces Habib Ben Yahia, himself a fellow Tunisian and former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to appointing a new Secretary General the AMU ministers called on the Libyan House of Representatives (HOR) in Tobruk to fulfill its responsibilities as a legislative body and hold a vote on a Libyan Government of National Accord. A minority faction within the HOR has prevented a majority of its deputies from meeting to hold a vote for months.
The AMU ministers reiterated their ‘absolute support’ for the Presidency Council headed by Faiez Serraj in its efforts to form a Government of National Accord and ‘stressed the need to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya’.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement ahead of the ministerial which stated: “This meeting demonstrates the commitment of Tunisia to the Maghreb unity as a strategic choice.” and to “reactivating” the Arab Maghreb Union, an institution which gas endured long periods of inactivity since its founding through the Treaty of Marrakech in 1989.
During the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations General Assembly headquarters in New York, last month Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui met with the foreign ministers of Algeria and Morocco, ahead of this week’s meeting.
The 6th session of the Council of Interior Ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), was held in Tunis on Monday, April 25, and according to statements from the participants it was devoted to the security situation in the Maghreb including ‘the resurgence of terrorist threats’, organized crime, migration, and the trafficking illegal weapons and narcotics.